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Full text of "The Younger Edda : also called Snorre's Edda, or the Prose Edda. An English version of the foreword ; The fooling of Gylfe, the afterword ; Brage's talk, the afterword to Brage's talk, and the important passages in the Poetical diction (Skáldskaparmál)"

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University of 
St. Michael's College, Toronto 















Copyright, 1879, 






In the beginning, before the heaven and the earth 
and the sea were created, the great abyss Ginungagap 
was without form and void, and the spirit of Fimbultyr 
moved upon the face of the deep, until the ice-cold rivers, 
the Elivogs, flowing from Niflheim, came in contact with 
the dazzling flames from Muspelheim. This was before 

And Fimbultyr said: Let the melted drops of vapor 
quicken into life, and the giant Ymer was born in the 
midst of Ginungagap. He was not a god, but the father 
of all the race of evil giants. This was Chaos. 

And Fimbultyr said : Let Ymer be slain and let order 
be established. And straightway Odin and his broth- 
ers — the bright sons of Bure — gave Ymer a mortal 
wound, and from his body made they the universe ; from 
his flesh, the earth; from his blood, the sea; from his 
bones, the rocks ; from his hair, the trees ; from his skull, 
the vaulted heavens; from his eye- brows, the bulwark 
called Midgard. And the gods formed man and woman 
in their own image of two trees, and breathed into them 
the breath of life. Ask and Embla became living souls, 
and they received a garden in Midgard as a dwelling-place 
for themselves and their children until the end of time. 
This was Cosmos. 



The gods themselves dwelt in Asgard. Some of them 
were of the mighty Asa-race: Valfather Odin, and Frigg 
his Queen; Thor, the master of Mjolner; Balder, the 
good; the one-handed Tyr; Brage, the song-smith. Idun 
having the youth-giving apples, and Heimdal, the watcher 
of Asgard. Others were mild and gentle vans: Njord, 
Frey, and Freyja, the goddess of love ; but in the midst 
of Asgard in daily intercourse with the gods, the serpent 
Loke, the friend of the giants, winded his slimy coils. 

To these gods our Teutonic ancestors offered sacri- 
fices, to them prayers ascended, and from them came such 
blessings as each god found it proper to bestow. Most of 
all were these gods worshiped on the battle-field, for 
there was the home of the Teuton. There he lived and 
there he hoped some day to die; for if the norns, the 
weavers of fate, permitted him to fall sword in hand, 
then would he not descend to the shades of Hel, but 
be carried in valkyrian arms up to Valhal, where a new 
life would be granted unto him, or better, where he would 
continue his earthly life in intercourse with the gods. 

Happy gatherings at the banquet, where the flowing 
mead-horn was passed freely round, and where words 
of wisdom and wit abounded, or martial games with 
sharp swords and spears, were the delight of the asas. 
Under the ash Ygdrasil they met in council, and if they 
ever appeared outside of the walls of Asgard, it was to 
go on errands of love, or to make war on the giants, 
their enemies from the beginning. Especially did Thor 
seldom sit still when he heard rumors of giants; with 


his heavy hammer, Mjolner, he slew Hrungner and the 
Midgard-serpent, gave Thrym and all that race of 
giants bloody bridal-gifts in Freyja's garments, and 
frightened the juggler Loke, of Utgard, who had to re- 
sort to his black art for safety. Thus lived the gods in 
heaven very much like their worshipers on earth, ex- 
cepting that Idun's apples ever preserved them fresh 
and youthful. 

But Loke, the serpent, was in the midst of them. 
Frigg's heart was filled with gloomy forebodings in regard 
to Balder, her beloved son, and her mind could not find 
rest until all things that could harm him had sworn not 
to injure Balder. Now they had nothing to fear for the 
best god, and with perfect abandon and security they 
themselves • made him serve as a mark, and hurled darts, 
stones and other weapons at him, whom nothing could 
scathe. But the serpent Loke was more subtle than any 
one within or without Asgard, whom Fimbultyr had made ; 
and he came to Hoder, the blind god, put the tender mis- 
tletoe in his hand and directed his arm, so that Balder 
sank from the joys of Valhal down into the abodes of 
pale Hel, and did not return. Loke is bound and tor- 
tured, but innocence has departed from Asgard ; among 
men there are bloody wars ; brothers slay brothers ; sen- 
sual sins grow huge; perjury has taken the place of 
truth. The elements themselves become discordant, and 
then comes the great Fimbul-winter, with its howling 
storms and terrible snow, that darkens the air and takes 
all gladness from the sun. 


The world's last day approaches. All bonds and fet- 
ters that bound the forces of heaven and earth together 
are severed, and the powers of good and of evil are 
brought together in an internecine feud. Loke advances 
with the Fenris-wolf and the Midgard-serpent, his own 
children, with all the hosts of the giants, and with Surt, 
who flings fire and flame over the world. Odin advances 
with all the asas and all the blessed einherjes. They 
meet, contend, and fall. The wolf swallows Odin, but 
Vidar, the Silent, sets his foot upon the monster's lower 
jaw, he seizes the other with his hand, and thus rends 
him till he dies. Frey encounters Surt, and terrible 
blows are given ere Frey falls. Heimdal and Loke 
fight and kill each other, and so do Tyr and the dog 
Garm from the Gnipa Cave. Asa-Thor fells the Mid- 
gard-serpent with his Mjolner, but he retreats only nine 
paces when he himself falls dead, suffocated by the ser- 
pent's venom. Then smoke wreathes up around the ash 
Ygdrasil, the high flames play against the heavens, the 
graves of the gods, of the giants and of men are swallowed 
up by the sea, and the end has come. This is Eagnarok, 
the twilight of the gods. 

But the radiaat dawn follows the night. The earth, 
completely green, rises again from the sea, and where 
the mews have but just been rocking on restless waves, 
rich fields unplowed and unsown, now wave their golden 
harvests before the gentle breezes. The asas awake to a 
new life, Balder is with them again. Then comes the 
mighty Fimbultyr, the god who is from everlasting to 


everlasting; the god whom the Edda skald dared not 
name. The god of gods comes to the asas. He comes 
to the great judgment and gathers all the good into 
Gimle to dwell there forever, and evermore delights en- 
joy; but the perjurers and murderers and adulterers he 
sends to Nastrand, that terrible hall, to be torn by Nid- 
hug until they are purged from their wickedness. This 
is Eegeneration. 

These are the outlines of the Teutonic rehgion. Such 
were the doctrines established by Odin among our an- 
cestors. Thus do we find it recorded in the Eddas of 

The present volume contains all of the Younger 
Edda that can possibly be of any importance to Eng- 
lish readers'. In fact, it gives more than has ever be- 
fore been presented in any translation into English, 
German or any of the modern Scandinavian tongues. 

We would recommend our readers to omit the Fore- 
words and Afterwords until they have perused the 
Fooling of Gylfe and Brage's Speech. The Forewords 
and Afterwords, it will readily be seen, are written by 
a later and less skillful hand, and we should be sorry 
to have anyone lay the book aside and lose the pleas- 
ure of reading Snorre's and Olafs charming work, be- 
cause he became disgusted with what seemed to him 
mere silly twaddle. And yet these Forewords and After- 
words become interesting enough when taken up in con- 
nection with a study of the historical anthropomorphized 
Odin. With a view of giving a pretty complete outline 


of the founder of the Teutonic race we have in our 
notes given all the Heimskringla sketch of the Black 
Sea Odin. We have done this, not only on account of 
the material it furnishes as the groundwork of a Teu- 
tonic epic, which we trust the muses will ere long 
direct some one to write, but also on account of the 
vivid picture it gives of Teutonic life as shaped and 
controlled by the Odinic faith. 

All the poems quoted in the Younger Edda have in 
this edition been traced back to their sources in the 
Elder Edda and elsewhere. 

Where the notes seem to the reader insufficient, we 
must refer him to our Norse Mythology, where he will, 
we trust, find much of the additional information he 
may desire. 

Well aware that our work has many imperfections, 
and beggmg our readers to deal generously with our 
shortcomings, we send the book out into the world 
with the hope that it may aid some young son or 
daughter of Odin to find his way to the fountains of 
Urd and Mimer and to Idun's rejuvenating apples. 
The son must not squander, but husband wisely, what 
his father has accumulated. The race must cherish 
and hold fast and add to the thought that the past 
has bequeathed to it. Thus does it grow greater and 
richer with each new generation. The past is the mir- 
ror that reflects the future. 

University of Wisconsin, 

Madison, Wis., September, 1879. 


Preface 5 

Introduction 15 

Foreword 33 


Gefjun's Plowing 49 

Gylfe's Journey to Asgard 51 

Of the Highest God ------ 54 

The Creation of the World 56 

The Creation (continued) 64 

The First Works of the Asas — The Golden Age - 69 

On the Wonderful Things in Heaven - - 72 



The Asas - - 79 




The Goddesses (Asynjes) 97 

The Giantess Gerd and Skirner's Journey - - 101 

Life in Valhal 104 

Odin's Horse and Frey's Ship - - - . 109 

Thor's Adventures - - - - - -113 

The Death of Balder 131 

Ragnarok 140 


Eegeneration 147 

Afterword to the Fooling of Gylfe - - - 151 




.^ger's Journey to Asgard - - - - - 152 

Iditn and her Apples - - - - - -155 


How Njord got Skade to Wife - - - - 158 


The Origin of Poetry - - . _ . . 160 

Afterword to Brage's Talk - - - - 166 


Thor and Hrungner ------ 169 

Thor's Journey to Geirrod's - - - - 176 

Idun --------- 184 

^ger's Feast 187 

Lore's Wager with the Dwarfs - - - - 189 

The Niflungs and Gjukungs - - - - 193 

Menja and Fenja 206 

The Grottesong 208 

Rolf Krake 214 




Enea 221 

Herikon 221 

The Historical Odin - - - - - - 221 

fornjot and the settlement of norway - - 239 

Notes to the Fooling of Gylfe - - - - 242 

Note on the Niflungs and Gjukungs - - - 266 

Note on Menja and Fenja 267 

Why the Sea is Salt ------ 268 



The records of our Teutonic past have hitherto 
received but slisrht attention from the Encrlish- 
speaking branch of the great world-ash Ygdrasil. 
This indifference is the more deplorable, since a 
knowledge of our heroic forefathers would nat- 
urally operate as a most powerful means of keep- 
ing alive among us, and our posterity, that spirit 
of courage, enterprise and independence for which 
the old Teutons were so distinguished. 

The religion of our ancestors forms an impor- 
tant chapter in the history of the childhood of 
our race, and this fact has induced us to offer the 
public an English translation of the Eddas. The 
purely mythological portion of the Elder Edda 
was trati slated and published by A. S. Cottle, in 
Bristol, in 1 797, and the whole work was trans- 
lated by Benjamin Tkorpe, and published in Lon- 
don in 1866. Both these works are now out of 
print. Of the Younger Edda we have likewise 
had two translations into English, — the first by 
Dasent in 1842, the second by Blackwell, in his 



edition of Mallet's Northern Antiquities, in 1847. 
The former has long been out of print, the latter 
is a poor imitation of Dasent's. Both of them are 
very incomplete. These four books constitute all 
the Edda literature we have had in the English 
language, excepting, of course, single lays and 
chapters translated by Gray, Henderson, W. Tay- 
lor, Herbert, Jamieson, Pigott, William and Mary 
Howitt, and others. 

The Younger Edda (also called Snorre's Edda, 
or the Prose Edda), of which we now have the 
pleasure of presenting our readers an English 
version, contains, as usually published in the origi- 
nal, the following divisions : 

1. The Foreword. 

2. Gylfaginning (The Fooling of Gylfe). 

3. The Afterword to Gylfaginning. 

4. Brage's Speech. 

5. The Afterword. 

6. Skaldskaparmal (a collection of poetic para- 
phrases, and denominations in Skaldic language 
without paraphrases). 

7. Hattatal (an enumeration of metres; a sort 
of Clavis Metrica). 

In some editions there are also found six addi- 
tional chapters on the alphabet, grammar, figures 
of speech, etc. 

There are three important parchment manu- 
scripts of the Younger Edda, viz : 


1. Codex Megius^ the so-called King's Book. 
This was presented to the Royal Library in Co- 
penhagen, by Bishop Brynjulf Sveinsson, in the 
year 1640, where it is still kept. 

2. Codex Wormianus. This is found in the 
University Library in Copenhagen, in the Arne 
Magnsean collection. It takes its name from 
Professor Ole Worm [died 1654], to whom it 
was presented by the learned Arngrim Jonsson. 
Christian Worm, the grandson of Ole Worm, and 
Bishop of Seeland [died 1737], afterward pre- 
sented it to Arne Magnusson. 

3. Codex Upsalierisis, This is preserved in 
the Upsala University Library. Like the other 
two, it was found in Iceland, where it was given 
to Jon Rugmann. Later it fell into the hands of 
Count Magnus Gabriel de la Gardie, who in the 
year 1669 presented it to the Upsala University. 
Besides these three chief documents, there exist 
four fragmentary parchments, and a large number 
of paper manuscripts. 

The first printed edition of the Younger Edda, 
in the original, is the celebrated " Edda Islando- 
rum," published by Peter Johannes Resen, in Co- 
penhagen, in the year 1665. It contains a trans- 
lation into Latin, made partly by Resen himself, 
and partly also by Magnus Olafsson, * Stephan 
Olafsson and Thormod Torfason. 

Not until eighty years later, that is in 1746, did 


the second edition of the Younger Edda appear in 
Upsala under the auspices of Johannes Goransson. 
This was printed from the Codex Upsaliensis. 

In the present century we find a third edition 
by Easmus Rask, published in Stockholm in 
1818. This is very complete and critical. The 
fourth edition was issued by Sveinbjorn Egilsson, 
in Reykjavik, 1849; the fifth by the Arne-Mag- 
naean Commission in Copenhagen, 1852.*^ All 
these five editions have long been out of print, 
and in place of them we have a sixth edition by 
Thorleif Jonsson (Copenhagen, 1875), and a 
seventh by Ernst Wilkin (Paderborn, 1877). 
Both of these, and especially the latter, are thor- 
oughly critical and reliable. 

Of translations, we must mention in addition 
to those into English by Dasent and Blackwell, 
R. Nyerup's translation into Danish (Copenhagen, 
1808); Karl Simrock's into German (Stuttgart 
and Tubingen, 1851); and Fr. Bergman n's into 
French (Paris, 1871). Among the chief authori- 
ties to be consulted in the study of the Younger 
Edda may be named, in addition to those already 
mentioned, Fr. Dietrich, Th. Mobius, Fr. Pfeiffer, 
Ludw. Ettmuller, K. Hildebrand, Ludw. Uhland, 
P E. Muller, Adolf Holzmann, Sophus Bugge, 
P. A. Munch and Rudolph Keyser. For the ma- 
terial in our introduction and notes, we are chiefly 

* The third volume of this work has not yet appeared. 


indebted to Simrock, Wilkin and Keyser. While 
we have had no opportunity of making original re- 
searches, the published works have been carefully 
studied, and all we claim for our work is, that it 
shall contain the results of the latest and most 
thorough inv^estigations by scholars who live 
nearer the fountains of Urd and Mimer than do 
we. Our translations are made from Egilsson's, 
Jonsson's and Wilkins' editions of the original. 
We have not translated any of the Hattatal, and 
only the narrative part of Skaldskaparmal, and 
yet our version contains more of the Younger 
Edda than any English, German, French or Dan- 
ish translation that has hitherto been published. 
The parts omitted cannot possibly be of any in- 
terest to any one who cannot read them in the 
original. All the paraphrases of the asas and 
asynjes, of the world, the earth, the sea, the sun, 
the wind, fire, summer, man, woman, gold, of war, 
arms, of a ship, emperor, king, ruler, etc., are of 
interest only as they help to explain passages of 
Old Norse poems. The same is true of the enu- 
meration of metres, which contains a number of 
epithets and metaphors used by the scalds, illus- 
trated by specimens of their poetry, and also by 
a poem of Snorre Sturleson, written in one hun- 
dred different metres. 

There has been a great deal of learned discus- 
sion in regard to the authorship of the Younger 


Edda. Readers specially interested in this knotty- 
subject we must refer to Wilkins' elaborate trea- 
tise, Untersuchungen zur Snorra Edda (Paderborn, 
1878), and to P. E. Muller's, Die ^chtheit der 
Asalehre (Copenhagen, 1811). 

Two celebrated names that without doubt are 
intimately connected with the work are Snorre 
Sturleson and Olaf Thordsson Hvitaskald. Both 
of these are conspicuous, not only in the literary, 
but also in the political history of Iceland. 

Snorre Sturleson* was born in Iceland in the 
year 1178. Three years old, he came to the 
house of the distinguished chief, Jon Loptsson, 
at Odde, a grandson of Ssemund the Wise, the 
reputed collector of the Elder Edda, where he 
appears to have remained until Jon Loptsson's 
death, in the year 1197. Soon afterward Snorre 
married into a wealthy family, and in a short 
time he became one of the most distinguished 
leaders in Iceland. He was several times elected 
chief magistrate, and no man in the land was his 
equal in riches and prominence. He and his two 
elder brothers, Thord and Sighvat, who were but 
little inferior to him in wealth and power, were 
at one time well-nigh supreme in Iceland, and 
Snorre sometimes appeared at the Althing at 
Thingvols accompanied by from eight hundred 
to nine hundred armed men. 

* Keyser. 


Snorre and his brothers did not only have bit- 
ter feuds with other families, but a deadly hatred 
also arose between themselves, making their lives 
a perpetual warfare. Snorre was shrewd as a 
politician and magistrate, and eminent as an ora- 
tor and skald, but his passions were mean, and 
many of his ways were crooked. He was both 
ambitious and avaricious. He is said to have 
been the first Icelander who laid plans to sub- 
jugate his fatherland to Norway, and in this con- 
nection is supposed to have expected to become 
a jarl under the king of Norway. In this effort 
he found himself o'Utwitted by his brother's son, 
Sturle Thordsson, and thus he came into hostile 
relations with the latter. In this feud Snorre 
was defeated, but when Sturle shortly after fell 
in a battle against his foes, Snorre's star of hope 
rose again, and he began to occupy himself with 
far-reaching, ambitious plans. He had been for 
the first time in Norway during the years 1218- 
1220, and had been well received by King Ha- 
kon, and especially by Jarl Skule, who was then 
the most influential man in the country. In the 
year 1237 Snorre visited Norway again, and en- 
tered, as it is believed, into treasonable conspira- 
cies with Jarl Skule. In 1239 he left Norway 
against the wishes of King Hakon, whom he 
owed obedience, and thereby incurred the king's 
greatest displeasure. When King Hakon, in 


1240, had crushed Skule's rebellion and annihi- 
lated this dangerous opponent, it became Snorre's 
turn to feel the effects of the king's wrath. At 
the instigation of King Hakon, several chiefs of 
Iceland united themselves against Snorre and 
murdered him at Reykholt, where ruins of his 
splendid mansion are still to be seen. This event 
took place on the 22d of September, 1241, and 
Snorre Sturleson was then sixty-three years old. 
Snorre was Iceland's most distinguished skald and 
sagaman. As a writer of history he deserves to 
be compared with Herodotos or Thukydides. His 
Heimskringla, embracing an elaborate history of 
the kings of Norway, is famous throughout the 
civilized world, and Emerson calls it the Iliad 
and Odyssey of our race. An English transla- 
tion of this work was published by Samuel Laing, 
in London, in 1844. Carlyle's Early Kings of 
Norway (London, 1875) was inspired by the 

Olaf Thordsson, surnamed Hvitaskald,* to dis- 
tinguish him from his contemporary, Olaf Svar- 
taskald,f was a son of Snorre's brother. Though 
not as prominent and influential as his uncle, he 
took an active part in all the troubles of his na- 
tive island during the first half of the thirteenth 
century. He visited Norway in 1236, whence he 
went to Denmark, where he was a guest at the 

* White Skald, f Black Skald. 


court of King Valdemar, and is said to have en- 
joyed great esteem. In 1240 we find him again 
in Norway, where he espoused the cause of King 
Hakon against Skule. On his return to Iceland 
he served four years as chief magistrate of the 
island. His death occurred in the year 1259, and 
he is numbered among the great skalds of Ice- 

Snorre Sturleson and Olaf Hvitaskald are the 
two names to whom the authorship of the Young- 
er Edda has generally been attributed, and the 
work is by many, even to this day, called Snorra 
Edda — that is, Snorre's Edda. We do not pro- 
pose to enter into any elaborate discussion of this 
complicated subject, but we will state briefly the 
reasons given by Keyser and others for believing 
that these men had a hand in preparing the Prose 
Edda. In the first place, we find that the writer 
of the grammatical and rhetorical part of the 
Younger Edda distinctly mentions Snorre as au- 
thor of Hattatal (the Clavis Metrica), and not 
only of the poem itself, but also of the treatise in 
prose. In the second place, the Arne Magnsean 
parchment manuscript, which dates back to the 
close of the thirteenth or beginning of the four- 
teenth century, has the following note prefaced 
to the Skaldskaparmal . " Here ends that part of 
the book which Olaf Thordsson put together, and 
now begins Skaldskaparmal and the Kenningar, 


according to that which has been found in the 
lays of the chief skalds, and which Snorre after- 
ward suffered to be brought together." In the 
third place, the Upsala manuscript of the Younger 
Edda, which is known with certainty to have 
been written in the beginning of the fourteenth 
century, contains this preface, written with the 
same hand as the body of the work : " This book 
hight Edda. Snorre has compiled it in the man- 
ner in which it is arranged : first, in regard to 
the asas and Ymer, then Skaldskaparmal and the 
denominations of many things, and finally that 
Hattatal, which Snorre composed about King Ha- 
kon and Duke Skule." In the fourth place, there 
is a passage in the so-called Annales Breviores, 
supposed to have been written about the year 
1400. The passage relates to the year 1241, and 
reads thus : " Snorre Sturleson died at Reykholt 
He was a wise and very learned man, a great 
chief and shrewd. He was the fii-st man in this 
land who brought property into the hands of the 
king (the king of Norway). He compiled Edda 
and many other learned historical works and 
Icelandic sagas. He was murdered at Reykholt 
by Jarl Gissur's men." 

It seems, then, that there is no room for any 
doubt that these two men have had a share in 
the authorship of the Younger Edda. How great 
a share each has had is another and more difficult 


problem to solve. Rudolf Keyser's opinion is 
(and we know no higher authority on the sub- 
ject), that Snorre is the author, though not in so 
strict a sense as we now use the word, of Gyl- 
faginning, Brage's Speech, Skaldskaparmal and 
Hattatal. This part of the Y'ounger Edda may 
thus be said to date back to the year 1230, though 
the material out of w^hich the mythological sys- 
tem is constructed is of course much older. We 
find it in the ancient Vala's Prophecy, of the 
Elder Edda, a poem that breathes in every line 
the purest asa-faith, and is, without the least 
doubt, much older than the introduction of Chris- 
tianity in the north, or the discovery and settle- 
ment of Iceland. It is not improbable that the 
religious system of the Odinic religion had as- 
sumed a permanent prose form in the memories 
of the people long before the time of Snorre, and 
that he merely was the means of having it com- 
mitted to writing almost without verbal change. 
Olaf Thordsson is unmistakably the author of 
the grammatical and rhetorical portion of the 
Younger Edda, and its date can therefore safely 
be put at about 1250. The author of the trea- 
tise on the alphabet is not known, but Professor 
Keyser thinks it must have been written, its first 
chapter, about the year 11 50, and its second chap- 
ter about the year 1200. The forewords and 
afterwords are evidently also from another pen. 


Their author is unknown, but they are thought 
to have been written about the year 1300. To 
sum up, then, we arrive at this conclusion : The 
mythological material of the Younger Edda is as 
old as the Teutonic race. Parts of it are written 
by authors unknown to fame. A small portion 
is the work of Olaf Thordsson. The most im- 
portant portion is written, or perhaps better, com- 
piled, by Snorre Sturleson, and the whole is 
finally edited and furnished with forewords and 
afterwords, early in the fourteenth century, — ac- 
cording to Keyser, about 1320-1330. 

About the name Edda there has also been 
much learned discussion. Some have suggested 
that it may be. a mutilated form of the word 
Odde, the home of Ssemund the Wise, who was 
long supposed to be the compiler of the Elder 
Edda. In this connection, it has been argued 
that possibly Ssemund had begun the writing of 
the Youjiger Edda, too. Others derive the word 
from ot5r (mind, soul), which in poetical usage 
also means song, poetry. Others, again, connect 
Edda with the Sanscrit word Veda, which is sup- 
posed to mean knowledge. Finally, others adopt 
the meaning which the word has where it is act- 
ually used in the Elder Edda, and where it means 
great-grandmother. Vigfusson adopts this defini- 
tion, and it is certainly both scientific and poet- 
ical. What can be more beautiful than the idea 


that our great ancestress teaches her descendants 
the sacred traditions, the concentrated wisdom, 
of the race? To sum up, then, we say the Younger, 
or Prose, or Snorre's Edda has been produced at 
different times by various hands, and the object 
of its authors has been to produce a manual for 
the skalds. In addition to the forewords and after- 
words, it contains two books, one greater (Gyl- 
faginning) and one lesser (Brage's Speech), giv- 
ing a tolerably full account of Norse mythol- 
ogy. Then follows Skaldskaparmal, wherein is 
an analysis of the various circumlocutions prac- 
ticed by the skalds, all illustrated by copious 
quotations from the poets. How much of these 
three parts is written by Snorre is not certain, 
but on the other hand, there is no doubt that he 
is the author of Hattatal (Clavis Metrica), which 
gives an enumeration of metres. To these four 
treatises are added four chapters on grammar and 
rhetoric. The writer of the oldest grammatical 
treatise is thought to be one Thorodd Eunemas- 
ter, who lived in the middle of the twelfth cen- 
tury ; and the third treatise is evidently written 
by Olaf Thordsson Hvitaskald, the nephew of 
Snorre, a scholar who spent some time at the 
court of the Danish king, Valdemar the Victorious. 
The Younger Edda contains the systematized 
theogony and cosmogony of our forefathers, while 
the Elder Edda presents the Odinic faith in a 


series of lays or rhapsodies. The Elder Edda is 
poetry, while the Younger Edda is mainly prose. 
The Younger Edda may in one sense be regarded 
as the sequel or commentary of the Elder Edda. 
Both complement each other, and both must be 
studied in connection with the sao-as and all the 
Teutonic traditions and folk-lore in order to get 
a comprehensive idea of the asa-faith. The two 
Eddas constitute, as it were, the Odinic Bible. 
The Elder Edda is the Old Testament, the Young- 
er Edda the New. Like the Old Testament, the 
Elder Edda is in poetry. It is prophetic and 
enigmatical. Like the New Testament, the 
Younger Edda is in prose ; it is lucid, and gives 
a clue to the obscure passages in the Elder Edda. 
Nay, in many respects do the two Eddas cor- 
respond with the two Testaments of the Christian 

It is a deplorable fact that the religion of our 
forefathers seems to be but little cared for in this 
country. The mythologies of other nations every 
student manifests an interest for. He reads with 
the greatest zeal all the legends of Kome and 
Greece, of India and China. He is familiar wdth 
every room in the labyrinth of Crete, while when 
he is introduced to the shining halls of Valhal 
and Gladsheim he gropes his way like a blind 
man. He does not know that Idun, with her 
beautiful apples, might, if applied to, render even 


greater services than Ariadne with her wonderful 
thread. When we inquire whom Tuesday and 
Wednesday and Thursday and Friday are named 
after, and press questions in reference to Tyr, 
Odin, Thor and Freyja, we get at best but a wise 
and knowing look. Are we, then, as a nation, 
like the ancient Jews, and do we bend the knee 
before the gods of foreign nations and forsake the 
altars of our own gods? What if we then 
should suffer the fate of that unhappy people — 
be scattered over all the world and lose our 
fatherland? In these Eddas our fathers have 
bequeathed unto us all their profoundest, all 
their sublimest, all their best thought. They 
are the concentrated result of their greatest intel- 
lectual and spiritual effort, and it behooves us to 
cherish this treasure and make it the fountain at 
which the whole American branch of the Ygdra- 
sil ash may imbibe a united national sentiment. 
It is not enough to brush the dust off these gods 
and goddesses of our ancestors and put them up 
on pedestals as ornaments in our museums and 
libraries. These coins of the past are not to be 
laid away in numismatic collections. The grand- 
son must use what he has inherited from his 
grandfather. If the coin is not intelligible, then 
it will have to be sent to the mint and stamped 
anew, in order that it may circulate freely. Our 


ancestral deities want a place in our hearts and 
in our songs. 

On the European continent and in England 
the zeal of the priests in propagating Christianity 
was so great that they sought to root out every 
trace of the asa-faith. They left but unintelligi- 
ble fragments of the heathen religious structure. 
Our gods and goddesses and heroes were consigned 
to oblivion, and all knowledge of the Odinic re- 
ligion and of the Niblung-story would have been 
well nigh totally obliterated had not a more 
lucky star hovered over the destinies of Iceland. 
In this remotest corner of the world the ancestral 
spirit was preserved like the glowing embers of 
Hekla beneath the snow and ice of the glacier. 
From the farthest Thule the spirit of our fathers 
rises and shines like an aurora over all Teuton- 
dom. It was in the year 860 that Iceland was 
discovered. In 874 the Teutonic spirit fled thith- 
er for refuge from tyranny. Here a government 
based on the principles of old Teutonic liberty 
was established. From here went forth daring 
vikings, who discovered Greenland and Vinland, 
and showed Columbus the way to America. 
From here the courts of Norway, Sweden, Den- 
mark, England and Germany were supplied with 
skalds to sing their praises. Here was put in 
writing the laws and sagas that give us a clue to 
the form of old Teutonic institutions. Here was 


preserved the Old Norse language, and in it a 
record of the customs, the institutions and the re- 
ligion of our fathers. Its literature does not 
belong to that island alone, — it belongs to the 
whole Teutonic race ! Iceland is for the Teutons 
what Greece and Kome are for the south of Eu- 
rope, and she accomplished her mission with no 
less efficiency and success. Cato the Elder used to 
end all his speeches with these words : ^''Prmterea 
censeo CartJiaginem esse delendamr In these 
days, when so many worship at the shrine of Ro- 
manism, we think it perfectly just to adopt Cato's 
sentence in this form: Prosterea censeo Momam 
esse delendam. 


1. In the beginning Almighty God created 
heaven and earth, and all things that belong to 
them, and last he made two human beings, from 
whom the races are descended (Adam and Eve), 
and their children multiplied and spread over all 
the world. But in the course of time men be- 
came unequal ; some were good and right-believ- 
ing, but many more turned them after the lusts 
of the world and heeded not God's laws ; and for 
this reason God drowned the world in the flood, 
and all that was quick in the world, except those 
who were in the ark with Noah. After the 
flood of Noah there lived eight men, who in- 
habited the world, and from them the races are 
descended ; and now, as before, they increased 
and filled the world, and there were very many 
men who loved to covet wealth and power, but 
turned away from obedience to God, and so much 
did they do this that they would not name God. 
And who could then tell their sons of the won- 
derful works of God? So it came to pass that 
they lost God's name ; and in the wide world the 
man was not to be found who could tell of his 


Maker. But, nevertlieless, God gave them earthly 
gifts, wealth and happiness, that should be with 
them in the world ; he also shared wisdom among 
them, so that they understood all earthly things, 
and all kinds that might be seen in the air and 
on the earth. This they thought upon, and won- 
dered at, how it could come to pass that the earth 
and the beasts and the birds had the same nature 
in some things but still were unlike in manners. 
One evidence of this nature was that the earth 
might be dug into upon high mountain-peaks 
and water would spring up there, and it was not 
necessary to dig deeper for water there than in 
deep dales; thus, also, in beasts and birds it is 
no farther to the blood in the head than in the 
feet. Another proof of this nature is, that every 
year there grow on the earth grass and flowers, 
and the same year it falls and withers ; thus, also, 
on beasts and birds do hair and feathers grow 
and fall off each year. The third nature of the 
earth is, that when it is opened and dug into, 
then grass grows on the mould which is upper- 
most on the earth. Rocks and stones they ex- 
plained to correspond to the teeth and bones of 
living things. From these things they judged 
that the earth must be quick and must have life 
in some way, and they knew that it was of a 
wonderfully great age and of a mighty nature. 
It nourished all that was quick and took to itself 


all that died. On this account they gave it a 
name, and numbered their ancestors back to it. 
This they also learned from their old kinsmen, 
that when many hundred winters w^ere numbered, 
the course of the heavenly bodies was uneven ; 
some had a longer course than others. From 
such things they suspected that some one must 
be the ruler of the heavenly bodies who could 
stay their course at his own will, and he must be 
strong and mighty ; and of him they thought 
that, if he ruled the prime elements, he must also 
have been before the heavenly bodies, and they 
saw that, if he ruled the course of the heavenly 
bodies, he must rule the sunshine, and the dew 
of the heavens, and the products of the earth that 
follow them ; and thus, also, the winds of the air 
and therewith the storms of the sea. They knew 
not where his realm was, but they believed that he 
ruled over all things on the earth and in the air, 
over the heavens and the heavenly bodies, the seas 
and the weather. But in order that these things 
might be better told and remembered, they gave 
him the same name with themselves, and this be- 
lief has been changed in many ways, as the peo- 
ples have been separated and the tongues have 
been divided. 

2. In his old age Noah shared the w^orld with 
his sons: for Ham he intended the western re- 
gion, for Japheth the northern region, but for 


Shem the southern region, with those parts which 
will hereafter be marked out in the division of 
the earth into three parts. In the time that the 
sons of these men were in the world, then in- 
creased forthwith the desire for riches and power, 
from the fact that they knew many crafts that 
had not been discovered before, and each one 
was exalted with his own handiwork ; and so far 
did they carry their pride, that the Africans, 
descended from Ham, harried in that part of the 
world which the offspring of Shem, their kins- 
man, inhabited. And when they had conquered 
them, the world seemed to them too small, and 
they smithied a tower with tile and stone, which 
they meant should reach to heaven, on the plain 
called Sennar. And when this building was so 
far advanced that it extended above the air, and 
they were no less eager to continue the work, 
and when God saw how their pride waxed high, 
then he sees that he will have to strike it down 
in some way. And the same God, who is al- 
mighty, and who might have struck down all 
their work in the twinkling of an eye, and made 
themselves turn into dust, still preferred to frus- 
trate their purpose by making them realize their 
own littleness, in that none of them should under- 
stand what the other talked; and thus no one 
knew what the other commanded, and one broke 
what the other wished to build up, until they came 


to strife among themselves, and therewith was frus- 
trated, in the beginning, their purpose of building 
a tower. And he who was foremost, hight Zo- 
roaster, he laughed before he wept when he came 
into the world ; but the master-smiths were sev- 
enty-two, and so many tongues have spread over 
the world since the giants were dispersed over 
the land, and the nations became numerous. In 
this same place was built the most famous city, 
which took its name from the tower, and w^as 
called Babylon. And when the confusion of 
tongues had taken place, then increased the names 
of men and of other things, and this same Zo- 
roaster had many names ; and although he under- 
stood that his pride was laid low by the said 
building, still he worked his way unto worldly 
power, and had himself chosen king over many 
peoples of the Assyrians. From him arose the 
error of idolatry ; and when he was worshiped 
he was called Baal; we call him Bel; he also 
had many other names. But as the names in- 
creased in number, so was truth lost ; and from 
this first error every following man worshiped 
his head-master, beasts or birds, the air and the 
heavenly bodies, and various lifeless things, until 
the error at length spread over the whole world ; 
and so carefully did they lose the truth that no 
one knew his maker, excepting those men alone 
who spoke the Hebrew tongue, — that which 


flourished before the building of the tower, — and 
still they did not lose the bodily endowments 
that were given them, and therefore they judged 
of all things with earthly understanding, for spir- 
itual wisdom was not given unto them. They 
deemed that all things were smithied of some 
one material. 

3. The world was divided into three parts, one 
from the south, westward to the Mediterranean 
Sea, which part was called Africa ; but the south- 
ern portion of this part is hot and scorched by 
the sun. The second part, from the west and to 
the north and to the sea, is that called Europe, 
or Enea. The northern portion of this is cold, so 
that grass grows not, nor can anyone dwell there. 
From the north around the east region, and all 
to the south, that is called Asia. In that part of 
the world is all beauty and pomp, and wealth of 
the earth's products, gold and precious stones. 
There is also the mid- world, and as the earth 
there is fairer and of a better quality than else- 
where, so are also the people there most richly 
endowed with all gifts, with wisdom and strength, 
with beauty and with all knowledge. 

4. Near the middle of the world was built the 
house and inn, the most famous that has been 
made, which was called Troy, in the land which 
we call Turkey. This city was built much larger 
than others, with more skill in many ways, at 


great expense, and with such means as were at 
hand. There were twelve kingdoms and one over- 
king, and many lands and nations belonged to 
each kingdom ; there were in the city twelve chief 
languages."^ Their chiefs have surpassed all men 
who have been in the world in all heroic things. 
No scholar who has ever told of these things has 
ever disputed this fact, and for this reason, that 
all rulers of the north region trace their ancestors 
back thither, and place in the number of the gods 
all who were rulers of the city. Especially do 
they place Priamos himself in the stead of Odin ; 
nor must that be called wonderful, for Priamos 
was sprung from Saturn, him whom the north 
region for a long time believed to be God him- 

5. This Saturn grew up in that island in 
Greece which hight Crete. He was greater and 
stronger and fairer than other men. As in other 
natural endowments, so he excelled all men in 
wisdom. He invented many crafts which had 
not before been discovered. He was also so 
great in the art of magic that he was certain 
about things that had not yet come to pass. He 
found, too, that red thing in the earth from 
which he smelted gold, and from such things he 
soon became very mighty. He also foretold har- 

* Dasent translates " hovutStungur " (chief or head tongues) with 
** lords," which is certainly an error. 


vests and many other secret things, and for such, 
and many other deeds, he was chosen chief of the 
island. And when he had ruled it a short time, 
then there speedily enough became a great abun- 
dance of all things. No money circulated except- 
ing gold coins, so plentiful was this metal; and 
though there was famine in other lands, the crops 
never failed in Crete, so that people might seek 
there all the things which they needed to have. 
And from this and many other secret gifts of 
power that he had, men believed him to be God, 
and from him arose another error among the 
Cretans and Macedonians like the one before 
mentioned among the Assyrians and Chaldeans 
from Zoroaster. And when Saturn finds how 
great strength the people think they have in 
him, he calls himself God, and says that he rules 
heaven and earth and all things. 

6. Once he went to Greece in a ship, for there 
was a kin2:'s dau2:hter on whom he had set his 
heart. He Avon her love in this way, that one 
day when she was out with her maid-servants, he 
took upon himself the likeness of a bull, and lay 
before her in the wood, and so fair was he that 
the hue of gold was on every hair; and when 
the king's daughter saw him she patted his lips. 
He sprang up and threw off the bull's likeness 
and took her into his arms and bore her to the 
ship and took her to Crete. But his wife, Juno, 


found this out, so lie turned her (the king's 
daughter) into the likeness of a heifer and sent 
her east to the arms of the great river (that is, of 
the Nile, to the Nile country), and let the thrall, 
who hight Argulos, take care of her. She was 
there twelve months before he changed her shape 
again. Many things did he do like this, or even 
more wonderful. He had three sons : one hight 
Jupiter, another Neptune, the third Pluto. They 
were all men of the greatest accomplishments, 
and Jupiter was by far the greatest ; he was a 
warrior and won many kingdoms; he was also 
crafty like his father, and took upon himself the 
likeness of many animals, and thus he accom- 
plished many things which are impossible for 
mankind; and on account of this, and other 
things, he was held in awe by all nations. There- 
fore Jupiter is put in the place of Thor, since all 
evil wights fear him. 

7. Saturn had built in Crete seventy-two burgs, 
and when he thought himself firmly established 
in his kingdom, he shared it with his sons, whom 
he set up with himself as gods ; and to Jupiter he 
gave the realm of heaven ; to Neptune, the realm 
of the earth, and to Pluto, hell; and this last 
seemed to him the worst to manage, and there- 
fore he gave to him his dog, the one whom he 
called Cerberos, to guard hell. This Cerberos, 
the Greeks say, Herakles dragged out of hell and 


upon earth. And although Saturn had given 
the realm of heaven to Jupiter, the latter never- 
theless desired to possess the realm of the earth, 
and so he harried his father's kingdom, and it 
is said that he had him taken and emasculated, 
and for such great achievements he declared him- 
self to be god, and the Macedonians say that he 
had the members taken and cast into the sea, 
and therefore they believed for ages that there- 
from had come a woman ; her they called Venus, 
and numbered among the gods, and she has in 
all ages since been called goddess of love, for 
they believed she Avas able to turn the hearts 
of all men and vromen to love. When Saturn 
was emasculated by Juj)iter, his son, he fled from 
the east out of Crete and west into Italy. There 
dwelt at that time such people as did not woi*k, 
and lived on acorns and grass, and lay in caves 
or holes in the earth. And when Saturn came 
there he changed his name and called himself 
Njord, for the reason that he thought that Ju- 
piter, his son, might afterward seek him out. He 
was the first there to teach men to plow and 
plant vineyards. There the soil was good and 
fresh, and it soon produced heavy crops. He was 
made chief and thus he got possession of all the 
realms there and built many burgs. 

8. Jupiter, his son, had many sons, from whom 
races have descended ; his son was Dardanos, his 


son Herikon, his son Tros, his son Ilos, his son 
Laomedon, the father of the chief king Priamos. 
Priamos had many sons ; one of them was Hek- 
tor, who was the most famous of all men in the 
world for strength, and stature and accomplish- 
ments, and for all manly deeds of a knightly 
kind; and it is found written that when the 
Greeks and all the strength of the north and 
east regions fought with the Trojans, they would 
never have become victors had not the Greeks 
invoked the gods; and it is also stated that no 
human strength would conquer them unless they 
were betrayed by their own men, which after- 
ward was done. And from their fame men that 
came after gave themselves titles, and especially 
was this done by the Romans, who were the 
most famous in many things after their days; 
and it is said that, when Rome was built, the 
Romans adapted their customs and laws as nearly 
as possible to those of the Trojans, their fore- 
fathers. And so much power accompanied these 
men for many ages after, that when Pompey, a 
Roman chieftain, harried in the east region, Odin 
fled out of Asia and hither to the north country, 
and then he gave to himself and his men their 
names, and said that Priamos had hight Odin 
and his queen Frigg, and from this the realm 
afterward took its name and was called Frigia 
where the burg stood. And whether Odin said 


this of himself out of pride, or that it was 
wrought by the changing of tongues ; neverthe- 
less many wise men have regarded it a true 
saying, and for a long time after every man who 
was a great chieftain followed his example. 

9. A king in Troy hight Munon or Mennon, 
his wife was a daughter of the head-king Priamos 
and hight Troan; they had a son who hight 
Tror, him we call Thor. He was fostered in 
Thrace by the duke, who is called Loricos. But 
when he was ten winters old he took his father's 
weapons. So fair of face was he, when he stood 
by other men, as when ivory is set in oak; 
his hair was fairer than gold. When he was 
twelve winters old he had fall strength; then 
he lifted from the ground ten bear skins all at 
once, and then he slew Loricos, the duke, his 
foster-father and his wife, Lora or Glora, and 
took possession of Thrace ; this we call Thrud- 
heim. Then he visited many lands and knew 
the countries of the world, and conquered single- 
handed all the berserks and all the giants, and 
one very big dragon and many beasts. In the 
north region he found that prophetess who hight 
Sibyl, whom we call Sif, and married her. None 
can tell the genealogy of Sif; she was the fairest 
of all women, her hair was like gold. Their son 
was Loride (Hloride), who was like his father; 
his son was Henrede ; his son Vingethor ( Ving- 


thor); his son Vingener (Vingner); Ms son 
Moda (Mode) ; his son Magi (Magne) ; his son 
Kesfet ; his son Bedvig ; his son Atra, whom we 
call Annan; his son Itrman; his son Heremod 
(Hermod) ; his son Skjaldun, whom we call 
Skjold; his son Bjaf, whom we call Bjar; his 
son Jat ; his son Gudolf, his son Fjarlaf, whom 
we call Fridleif ; he had the son who is called 
Vodin, whom we call Odin; he was a famous 
man for wisdom and all accomplishments. His 
wife hight Frigida, whom we call Frigg. 

10. Odin had the power of divination, and so 
had his wife, and from this knowledge he found 
out that his name would be held high in the 
north part of the world, and honored beyond 
that of all kings. For this reason he was eager 
to begin his journey from Turkey, and he had 
with him very many people, young and old, men 
and women, and he had with him many costly 
things. But wherever they fared over the lands 
great fame was spoken of them, and they were 
said to be more like gods than men. And they 
stopped not on their journey before they came 
north into that land which is now called Sax- 
land ; there Odin remained a long time, and sub- 
jugated the country far and wide. There Odin 
established his three sons as a defense of the 
land. One is named Yeggdegg ; he was a strong 
king and ruled over East Saxland. His son was 


Vitrgils, and his sons were Kitta, the father of 
Heingest (Hengist), and Sigar, the father of 
Svebdegg, whom we call Svipdag. Another son 
of Odin hight Beldegg, whom we call Balder; 
he possessed the land which now hight Vestfal ; 
his son was Brander, and his son Frjodigar, 
whom we call Froda (Frode). His son was 
Freovit, his son Yvigg, his son Gevis, whom we 
call Gave. The third son of Odin is named 
Sigge, his son Verer. These forefathers ruled 
the land which is now called Frankland, and 
from them is come the race that is called the 
Volsungs. From all of these many and great 
races are descended. 

11. Then Odin continued his journey north- 
ward and came into the country which was 
called Reidgotaland, and in that land he con- 
quered all that he desired. He established there 
his son, who hight Skjold; his son hight Fridleif ; 
from him is descended the race Avhich hight 
Skjoldungs; these are the Dane kings, and that 
land hight now Jutland, which then was called 

12. Thereupon he fared north to what is now 
called Svithjod (Sweden), there was the king 
who is called Gylfe. But w^hen he heard of the 
coming of those Asiamen, who were called asas, 
he went to meet them, and offered Odin such 
things in his kingdom as he himself might desire. 


And such good luck followed their path, that 
wherever they stopped in the lands, there were 
bountiful crops and good peace ; and all believed 
that they were the cause thereof. The mighty 
men of the kingdom saw that they were unlike 
other men whom they had seen, both in respect 
to beauty and understanding. The land there 
seemed good to Odin, and he chose there for 
himself a place for a burg, which is now called 
Sigtuna.'^* He there established chiefs, like unto 
what had formerly existed in Troy ; he appointed 
twelve men m the burg to be judges of the law 
of the land, and made all rights to correspond 
with what had before been in Troy, and to what 
the Turks had been accustomed. 

13. Thereupon he fared north until he reached 
the sea, which they thought surrounded all lands, 
and there he established his son in the kingdom, 
which is now called Norway; he is hight Sa- 
ming, and the kings of Norway count their an- 
cestors back to him, and so do the jarls and 
other mighty men, as it is stated in the Haleygja- 
tal.f But Odin had with him that son who is 
called Yngve, who was king in Sweden, and from 
him is descended the families called Ynglings 
(Yngvelings). The asas took to themselves 
wives there within the land. But some took 

*Near Upsala. 

t A heroic poem, giving the pedigree (tal) of Norse kings. 


wives for their sons, and these families became 
so numerous that they spread over Saxland, and 
thence over the whole north region, and the 
tongue of these Asiamen became the native 
tongue of all these lands. And men think they 
can understand from the way in which the names 
of their forefathers is written, that these names 
have belonged to this tongue, and that the asas 
have brought this tongue hither to the north, 
to Norway, to Sweden and to Saxland. But in 
England are old names of places and towns 
which can be seen to have been given in another 
tongue than this. 




1. King Gylfe ruled the lands that are now 
called Svithjod (Sweden). Of him it is said that 
he gave to a wayfaring woman, as a reward for 
the entertainment she had afforded him by her 
story-telling, a plow-lan(J. in his realm, as large 
as four oxen could plow it in a day and a night. 
But this woman was of the asa-race ; her name 
was Gefjun. She took from the north, from Jo- 
tunheim, four oxen, which were the sons of a giant 
and her, and set them before the plow. Then 
went the plow so hard and deep that it tore up 
the land, and the oxen drew it westward into the 
sea, until it stood still in a sound. There Gef- 
jun set the land, gave it a name and called it See- 
land. And where the land had been taken away 
became afterward a sea, which in Sweden is now 
called Logrinn (the Lake, the Malar Lake in 
Sweden). And in the Malar Lake the bays cor- 



respond to the capes in Seeland. Thus says 
Brage, the old skald : 

Gefjun glad 

Drew from Gylfe 

The excellent land, 

Denmark's increase, 

So that it reeked 

From the running beasts. 

Four heads and eight eyes 

Bore the oxen 

As they went before the wide 

Robbed land of the grassy isle.* 

*Heimskringla: Ynglinga Saga, eh. v. 




2. King Gylfe was a wise man and skilled in 
the black art. He wondered much that the asa- 
folk was so mighty in knowledge, that all things 
went after their will. He thought to himself 
whether this could come from their own. nature, 
or whether the cause must be sought for among 
the gods whom they worshiped. He therefore 
undertook a journey to Asgard. He went secret- 
ly, having assumed the likeness of an old man, 
and striving thus to disguise himself. But the 
asas were wiser, for they see into the future, and, 
foreseeing his journey before he came, they re- 
ceived him with an eye-deceit. So when he came 
into the burg he saw there a hall so high that 
he could hardly look over it. Its roof was thatched 
with golden shields as with shingles. Thus says 
Thjodolf of Hvin, that Valhal was thatched with 
shields : 

Thinking thatchers 
Thatched the roof; 
The beams of the burg 
Beamed with gold.* 

* Heimskringla: Harald Harfager's Saga, ch, xix. 



In the door of the hall Gylfe saw a man who 
played with swords so dexterously that seven 
were in the air at one time. That man asked 
him what his name was. Gylfe answered that 
his name was Ganglere;^ that he had come a 
long way, and that he sought lodgings for the 
night. He also asked who owned the burg. 
The other answered that it belonged to their 
king: I will go with you to see him and then 
you may ask him for his name yourself Then 
the man turned and led the way into the hall. 
Ganglere followed, and suddenly the doors closed 
behind him. There he saw many rooms and a 
large number of people, of whom some were 
playing, others were drinking, and some were 
fighting with weapons. He looked around him, 
and much of what he saw seeijaed to him incredi- 
ble. Then quoth he : 

Gates all, 

Before in you go, 

You must examine well; 

For you cannot know 

Where enemies sit 

In the house before you.f 

He saw three high-seats, one above the other, 
and in each sat a man. He asked what the 
names of these chiefs were. He, who had con- 
ducted him in, answered that the one who sat 

*The walker. f Elder Edda: Havaraal. 


in the lowest high-seat was king, and hight Har; 
the one next above him, Jafnhar; but the one 
who sat on the highest throne, Thride. Har 
asked the comer what more his errand was, and 
added that food and drink was there at his ser- 
vice, as for all in Har's hall. Ganglere answered 
that he first would like to ask whether there was 
any wise man. Answered Har: You will not 
come out from here hale unless you are wiser. 

And stand now forth 

While you ask; 

He who answers shall sit. 



3. Ganglere then made the following question : 
Who is the highest and oldest of all the gods ? 
Made answer Har: Alfather he is called in our 
tongue, but in Asgard of old he had twelve 
names. The first is Alfather, the second is 
Herran or Herjan, the third Nikar or Hnikar, 
the fourth Nikuz or Hnikud, the fifth Fjolner, 
the sixth Oske, the seventh Ome, the eighth 
Biflide or Biflinde, the ninth Svidar, the tenth 
Svidrer, the eleventh Vidrer, the twelfth Jalg or 
Jalk. Ganglere asks again : Where is this god ? 
What can he do? What mighty works has he 
accomplished? Answered Plan He lives from 
everlasting to everlasting, rules over all his 
realm, and governs all things, great and small. 
Then remarked Jafnhar: He made heaven and 
earth, the air and all things in them. Thride 
added: What is most important, he made man 
and gave him a spirit, which shall live, and never 
perish, though the body may turn to dust or 
burn to ashes. All who live a life of virtue shall 
dwell with him in Gimle or Vingolf The wicked, 



on the other hand, go to Hel, and from her to 
Niflhel, that is, down into the ninth world. Then 
asked Ganglere: What was he doing before 
heaven and earth were made ? Har gave answer ; 
Then was he with the frost-giants. 



4. Said Ganglere : How came the world into 
existence, or liow did it rise ? What was before ? 
Made answer to him Har: Thus is it said in^ 
the Vala's Prophecy : 

It was Time's morning, 
When there nothing was; 
Nor sand, nor sea. 
Nor cooling billows. 
Earth there was not, 
Nor heaven above. 
The Ginungagap was, 
But grass nowhere.* 

Jafnhar remarked : Many ages before the earth 
was made, Niilheim had existed, in the midst of 
which is the well called Hvergelmer, whence flow 
the follomng streams: Svol, Gunnthro, Form, 
Fimbul, Thul, Slid and Hrid, Sylg and Ylg, Vid, 
Leipt and Gjoll, the last of which is nearest the 
gate of Hel. Then added Thride: Still there 
was before a world to the south which hight 
Muspelheim. It is light and hot, and so bright 
and dazzling that no stranger, who is not a 

* Elder Edda: The Vala's Prophecy, 6. 



native there, can stand it. Surt is the name of 
him who stands on its border guarding it. He 
has a flaming sword in his hand, and at the end 
of the world he will come and harry, conquer 
all the gods, and burn up the whole world with 
fire. Thus it is said in the Vala's Prophecy: 

Surt from the south fares 
With blazing flames; 
From the sword shines 
The sun of the war-god. 
Rocks dash together 
And witches collapse, 
Men go the way to Hel 
And the heavens are cleft.* 

5. Said Ganglere : What took place before the 
races came into existence, and men increased and 
multiplied? Keplied Har, explaining, that as 
soon as the streams, that are called the Elivogs, 
had come so far from their source that the ven- 
omous yeast which flowed with them hardened, 
as does dross that runs from the fire, then it 
turned into ice. And when this ice stopped and 
flowed no more, then gathered over it the driz- 
zling rain that arose from the venom and froze 
into rime, and one layer of ice was laid upon the 
other clear into Ginungagap. Then said Jafn- 
har: All that part of Ginungagap that turns 
toward the north was filled with thick and 
heavy ice and rime, and everywhere within were 

* Elder Edda: The Vala's Prophecy, 56. 


drizzling rains and gusts. But the soutli part 
of Ginungagap was lighted up by the glowing 
sparks that flew out of Muspelheim. Added 
Thride: As cold and all things grim proceeded 
from Niflheim, so that which bordered on Mus- 
pelheim was hot and bright, and Ginungagap 
was as warm and mild as windless air. And 
when the heated blasts from Muspelheim met 
the rime, so that it melted into drops, then, by 
the might of him who sent the heat, the drops 
quickened into life and took the likeness of a 
man, who got the name Ymer. But the Frost 
giants call him Aurgelmer. Thus it is said in 
the short Prophecy of the Vala (the Lay of 

All the valas are 
From Vidolf descended; 
All wizards are 
Of Vilmeide's race; 
All enchanters 
Are sons of Svarthofde; 
All giants have 
Come from Ymer.* 

And on this point, when Vafthrudner, the 
giant, was asked by Gangrad : 

Whence came Aurgelmer 

Origmally to the sons 

Of the giants?— thou wise giant! t 

* Elder Edda: Hyndla's Lay, 34. 
t Elder Edda: Vafthrudner's Lay, 30. 


he said 

From the Elivogs 

Sprang drops of venom, 

And grew till a giant was made. 

Thence our race 

Are all descended, 

Therefore are we all so fierce.* 

Then asked Ganglere: How were the races 
developed from him ? Or what was done so that 
more men were made? Or do you believe him 
to be god of whom you now spake? Made 
answer Har: By no means do we believe him 
to be god ; evil was he and all his offspring, them 
we call frost-giants. It is said that when he 
slept he fell into a sweat, and then there grew 
under his left arm a man and a woman, and one 
of his feet begat with the other a son. From 
these come the races that are called frost-giants. 
The old frost-giant we call Ymer. 

6. Then said Ganglere : Where did Ymer 
dwell, and on what did he live ? Answered Har : 
The next thing was that when the rime melted 
into drops, there was made thereof a cow, which 
hight Audhumbla. Four milk-streams ran from 
her teats, and she fed Ymer. Thereupon asked 
Ganglere : On what did the cow subsist ? An- 
swered Har : She licked the salt-stones that were 
covered with rime, and the first day that she 

* Elder Edda: Vafthrudner's Lay, 31. 


licked the stones there came out of them in the 
evening a man's hair, the second day a man's 
head, and the third day the whole man was 
there. This man's name was Bure ; he was fair 
of face, great and mighty, and he begat a son 
whose name was Bor. This Bor married a wo- 
man whose name was Bestla, the daughter of 
the giant Bolthorn; they had three sons, — the 
one hight Odin, the other Vile, and the third 
Ve. And it is my belief that this Odin and his 
brothers are the rulers of heaven and earth. We 
think that he must be so called. That is the 
name of the man whom we know to be the 
greatest and most famous, and well may men call 
him by that name. 

7. Ganglere asked: How could these keep 
peace with Ymer, or who was the stronger? 
Then answered Har : The sons of Bor slew the 
giant Ymer, but when he fell, there flowed so 
much blood from his wounds that they drowned 
therein the whole race of frost giants ; excepting 
one, who escaped with his household. Him the 
giants call Bergelmer. He and his wife went 
on board his ark and saved themselves in it. 
From them are come new races of frost-giants, 
as is here said : 

Countless winters 

Ere the earth was made, 

Was born Bergelmer. 


This first I call to mind 
How that crafty giant 
Safe in his ark lay.* 

8. Then said Ganglere : What was done then by 
the sons of Bor, since you believe that they were 
gods ? Answered Har : About that there is not 
a little to be said. They took the body of Ymer, 
carried it into the midst of Ginungagap and 
made of him the earth. Of his blood they made 
the seas and lakes; of his ilesh the earth was 
made, but of his bones the rocks; of his teeth 
and jaws, and of the bones that were broken, 
they made stones and pebbles. Jafnhar remarked : 
Of the blood that flowed from the wounds, and 
was free, they made the ocean; they fastened 
the earth together and around it they laid this 
ocean in a ring without, and it must seem to 
most men impossible to cross it. Thride added : 
They took his skull and made thereof the sky, 
and raised it over the earth with four sides. 
Under each corner they set a dwarf, and the four 
dwarfs were called Austre (east), V«stre (West), 
Nordre (North), Sudre (South). Then they took 
glowing sparks, that were loose and had been 
cast out from Muspelheim, and placed them in 
the midst of the boundless heaven, both above and 
below, to light up heaven and earth. They gave 
resting-places to all fires, and set some in heaven ; 

* Elder Edda: Vafthrudner's Lay, 35. 


some were made to go free under heaven, but 
tliey gave them a place and shaped their course. 
In old songs it is said that from that time days 
and years were reckoned. Thus in the Prophecy 
of the Vala : 

The san knew not 
Where her hall she had; 
The moon knew not 
What might he had; 
The stars knew not 
Their resting-places.* 

Thus it was before these things were made. 
Then said Ganglere : Wonderful tidings are these 
I now hear; a wondrous great building is this, 
and deftly constructed. How was the earth 
fashioned? Made answer Har: The earth is 
round, and without it round about lies the deep 
ocean, and along the outer strand of that sea 
they gave lands for the giant races to dwell in ; 
and against the attack of restless giants they 
built a burg within the sea and around the 
earth. For this purpose they used the giant 
Ymer's eyebrows, and they called the burg Mid- 
gard. They also took his brains and cast them 
into the air, and made therefrom the clouds, as 
is here said : 

* Elder Edda: The Vala's Prophecy, 8. In Old Norse the sun is 
feminine, and the moon masculine. See below, sections 11 and 12. 


Of Ymer's flesh 

The earth was made, 

And of his sweat the seasj 

Rocks of his bones, 

Trees of his hair, 

And the sky of his skull; 

But of his eyebrows 

The blithe powers 

Made Midgard for the sons of men. 

Of his brains 

All the melancholy 

Clouds were made.* 

* Elder Edda: Grimner's Lay, 40, 41. Comp. Vafthrudner's Lay, 21. 



9. Then said Ganglere : Miicli had been done, 
it seemed to me, when heaven and earth were 
made, when sun and moon were set in their 
places, and when days were marked out; but 
whence came the people who inhabit the world ? 
Har answered as follows: As Bor's sons went 
along the sea-strand, they found two trees. These 
trees they took up and made men of them. The 
first gave them spirit and life; the second en- 
dowed them with reason and power of motion ; 
and the third gave them form, speech, hearing 
and eyesight. They gave them clothes and 
names ; the man they called Ask, and the woman 
Embla. From them all mankind is descended, 
and a dwelling-place was given them under 
Midgard. In the next place, the sons of Bor 
made for themselves in the middle of the world 
a burg, which is called Asgard, and which we 
call Troy. There dwelt the gods and their race, 
and thence were wrought many tidings and ad- 
ventures, both on earth and in the sky. In 
Asgard is a place called Hlidskjalf, and when 



Odin seated himself there in the high-seat, he 
saw over the whole world, and what every man 
was doing, and he knew all things that he saw. 
His wife hight Frigg, and she was the daughter 
of Fjorgvin, and from their offspring are de- 
scended the race that we call asas, who inhab- 
ited Asgard the old and the realms that lie about 
it, and all that race are known to be gods. And 
for this reason Odin is called Alfather, that he is 
the father of all gods and men, and of all things 
that were made by him and by his might. Jord 
(earth) was his daughter and his wife ; with her 
he begat his first son, and that is Asa-Thor. To 
him was given force and strength, whereby he 
conquers all things quick. 

10. Norfe, or Narfe, hight a giant, who dwelt in 
Jotunheim. He had a daughter by name Night. 
She was swarthy and dark like the race she be- 
longed to. She was first married to a man who 
hight Naglfare. Their son was Aud. Afterward 
she was married to Annar. Jord hight their 
daughter. Her last husband was Delling (Bay- 
break), who was of asa-race. Their son was Day, 
who was light and fair after his father. Then 
took Alfather Night and her son Day, gave them 
two horses and two cars, and set them up in heaven 
to drive around the earth, each in twelve hours 
by turns. Night rides first on the horse which is 
called Hrimfaxe, and every morning he bedews 


the earth with the foam from his bit. The horse 
on which Day rides is called Skinfaxe, and with 
his mane he lights up all the sky and the earth. 

11. Then said Ganglere: How does he steer 
the course of the sun and the moon ? Answered 
Har: Mundilfare hight the man who had two 
children. They were so fair and beautiful that 
he called his son Moon, and his daughter, whom 
he gave in marriage to a man by name Glener, 
he called Sun. But the gods became wroth at this 
arrogance, took both the brother and the sister, 
set them up in heaven, and made Sun drive the 
horses that draw the car of the sun, which the 
gods had made to light up the world from sparks 
that flew out of Muspelheim. These horses hight 
Arvak and Alsvid. Under their withers the 
gods placed two wind-bags to cool them, but in 
some songs it is called ironcold (isarnkol). Moon 
guides the course of the moon, and rules its wax- 
ing and waning. He took from the earth two 
children, who hight Bil and Hjuke, as they were 
going from the well called Byrger, and were 
carrying on their shoulders the bucket called 
Sager and the pole Simul. Their father's name 
is Vidfin. These children always accompany 
Moon, as can be seen from the earth. 

12. Then said Ganglere : Swift fares Sun, almost 
as if she were afraid, and she could make no more 
haste in her course if she feared her destroyer. 


Y. Pooling of gylfe. 67 

Then answered Har: Nor is it wonderful that 
she speeds with all her might. Near is he who 
pursues her, and there is no escape for her but 
to run before him. Then asked Ganglere : Who 
causes her this toil ? Answered Har : It is two 
wolves. The one liight Skol, he runs after her; 
she fears him and he will one day overtake her. 
The other hight Hate, Hrodvitner's son ; he 
bounds before her and wants to catch the moon, 
and so he will at last."^ Then asked Ganglere: 
Whose offspring are these wolves? Said Har: 
A hag dwells east of Midgard, in the forest called 
Jarnved (Ironwood), where reside the witches 
called Jarnvidjes. The old hag gives birth to 
many giant sons, and all in wolf's likeness. 
Thence come these two wolvea It is said that 
of this wolf-race one is the mightiest, and is 
called Moongarm. He is filled with the life- 
blood of all dead men. He will devour the 
moon, and stain the heavens and all the sky 
with blood. Thereby the sun will be darkened, 
the winds will grow wild, and roar hither and 
thither, as it is said in the Prophecy of the Vala : 

In the east dwells the old hag, 
In the Jarnved forest; 
And brings forth there 
Fenrer's offspring. 
There comes of them all 
One the worst, 

* That wolves follow the sun and moon, is a wide-spread popular 
superstition. In Sweden, a parhelion is called Solvarg (sun-wolf). 


The moon's devourer 
In a troll's disguise. 

He is filled with the life-blood 
Of men doomed to die; 
The seats of the gods 
He stains with red gore; 
Sunshine grows black 
The summer thereafter, 
All weather gets fickle. 
Know you yet or not?* 

13. Then asked Ganglere: What is the path 
from earth to heaven? Har answered, laughing: 
Foolishly do you now ask. Plave you not been 
told that the gods made a bridge from earth to 
heaven, which is called Bifrost ? You must have 
seen it. It may be that you call it the rainbow. 
It has three colors, is very strong, and is made 
with more craft and skill than other structures. 
Still, however strong it is, it will break when 
the sons of Muspel come to ride over it, and then 
they will have to swim their horses over great 
rivers in order to get on. Then said Ganglere: 
The gods did not, it seems to me, build that 
bridge honestly, if it shall be able to break to 
pieces, since they could have done so, had they 
desired. Then made answer Har : The gods are 
worthy of no blame for this structure. Bifrost 
is indeed a good bridge, but there is no thing in 
the world that is able to stand when the sons of 
Muspel come to the fight. 

* Elder Edda: The Vala's Prophecy, 43, 44. 



14. Then said Ganglere: What did Alfather 
do when Asgard had been built? Said Har: 
In the beginning he appointed rulers In a place 
in the middle of the burg which is called Ida- 
void, who were to judge with hini the disputes 
of men and decide the affairs of the burg. Their 
first work was to erect a court, where there were 
seats for all the twelve, and, besides, a high-seat 
for Alfather. That is the best and largest house 
ever built on earth, and is within and without 
like solid gold. This place is called Gladsheim. 
Then they built another hall as a home for the 
goddesses, which also is a very beautiful mansion, 
and is called Vingolf Thereupon they built a 
forge; made hammer, tongs, anvil, and with 
these all other tools. Afterward they worked 
in iron, stone and wood, and especially in that 
metal which is called gold. All their household 
wares were of gold. That age was called the 
golden age, until it was lost by the coming of 
those women from Jotunheim. Then the gods set 
themselves in their high-seats and held counsel. 

70 thp: younger edda. 

They remembered how the dwarfs had quick- 
ened in the mould of the earth like maggots in 
flesh. The dwarfs had first been created and 
had quickened in Ymer\s flesh, and were then 
maggots ; but now, by the decision of the gods, 
they got the understanding and likeness of men, 
but still had to dwell in the eai'th and in rocks. 
Modsogner was one dwarf and Durin another. 
So it is said in the Vala's Prophecy : 

Then went all the gods. 
The all-holy gods, 
On their judgment seats, 
And thereon took counsel 
Who should the race 
Of dwarfs create 
From the bloody sea 
And from Blain's bones. 
In the likeness of men 
Made they many 
Dwarfs in the earth, 
As Durin said. 

And these, says the Vala, are the names of the 
dwarfs : 

Nye, Nide, 
Nordre, Sudre, 
Austre, Vestre, 
Althjof, Dvalin, 
Na, Nain, 
Niping, Dain, 
Bifur, Bafur, 
Bombor, Nore, 
Ore, Onar, 
Oin, Mjodvitner, 
Vig, Gandalf. 
Vindalf, Thorin. 


File, Kile, 

Funclin, Vale, 

Thro, Throin, 

Thek, Lit, Vit, 

Ny, Nyrad, ^ 

Rek, Radsvid. 

But the following are also dwarfs and dwell 
in the rocks, while the above-named dwell in the 
mould : 

Draupner, Dolgthvare, 
Hor, Hugstare, 
Hledjolf, Gloin, 
Dore, Ore, 
Duf, Andvare, 
Hepte, File, 
Har, Siar. 

But the following come from Svarin's How to 
Aurvang on Joruvold, and from them is sprung 
Lovar. Their names are : 

Skirfer, Virfir, 
Skafid, Ae, 
Alt", Inge, 
Fal, Froste, 
Fid, Ginnar.* 

* Elder Edda: The Vala's Prophecy, 12, 14-16, 18, 19. 



15. Then said Ganglere: Where is the chief 
or most holy place of the gods ? Har answered : 
That is by the ash Ygdrasil. There the gods 
meet in council every day. Said Ganglere: What 
is said about this place? Answered Jafnhar: 
This ash is the best and greatest of all trees ; its 
branches spread over all the world, and reach 
up above heaven. Three roots sustain the tree 
and stand wide apart ; one root is with the asas 
and another with the frost-giants, w^here Gin- 
ungagap formerly was; the third reaches into 
Niflheim ; imder it is Hvergelmer, where Nidhug 
gnaws the root from below. But under the 
second root, which extends to the frost-giants, 
is the well of Mimer, wherein knowledge and 
wisdom are concealed. The owner of the well 
hight Mimer. He is full of wisdom, for he drinks 
from the well with the Gjallar-horn. Alfather 
once came there and asked for a drink from the 
well, but he did not get it before he left one 
of his eyes as a pledge. So it is said in the 
Vala's Prophecy: 



Well know I, Odin, 
Where you hid your eye: 
In the crystal-clear 
Well of Mimer. 
Mead drinks Mimer 
Every morning 
From Valfather's pledge. 
Know you yet or not?* 

The third root of the ash is in heaven, and be- 
neath it is the most sacred fountain of Urd. Here 
the gods have their doomstead. The asas ride 
hither every day over Bifrost, which is also called 
Asa-bridge. The following are the names of the 
horses of the gods : Sleipner is the best one ; he 
belongs to Odin, and he has eight feet. The 
second is Glad, the third Gyller, the fourth Gler, 
the fifth Skeidbriraer, the sixth Silfertop, the 
seventh Siner, the eighth Gisl, the ninth Falhof 
ner, the tenth Gulltop, the eleventh Letfet. Bal- 
der's horse was burned with him. Thor goes on 
foot to the doomstead, and wades the following 

Kormt and Ormt 
And the two Kerlaugs; 
These shall Thor wade 
Every day 

When he goes to judge 
Near the Ygdrasil ash; 
For the Asa-bridge 
Burns all ablaze, — 
The holy waters roar.f 

* Elder Edda: The Vala's Prophecy, 24. 
t Elder Edda: Grimner's Lay, 29. 


Then asked Ganglere: Does fire burn over 
Bifrost ? Har answered : The red which you see 
in the rainbow is burning fire. The frost-giants 
and the mountain-giants would go up to heaven 
if Bifrost were passable for all who desired to go 
there. Many fair places there are in heaven, and 
they are all protected by a divine defense. There 
stands a beautiful hall near the fountain beneath 
the ash. Out of it come three maids, whose 
names are Urd, Verdande and Skuld. These 
maids shape the lives of men, and we call them 
norns. Thei*e are yet more norns, namely those 
who come to every man when he is born, to shape 
his life, and these are known to be of the race of 
gods; others, on the other hand, are of the race of 
elves, and yet others are of the race of dwarfs. 
As is here said : 

Far asunder, I think, 

The norns are born, 

They are not of the same race. 

Some are of the asas. 

Some are of the elves, 

Some are daughters of Dvalin.* 

Then said Ganglere: If the norns rule the 
fortunes of men, then they deal them out exceed- 
ingly unevenly. Some live a good life and are 
rich ; some get neither wealth nor praise. Some 
have- a long, others a short life. Har answered. 

* Elder Edda: Fafner's Lay, 13. 


Good norns and of good descent shape good lives, 
and when some men are weighed down with 
misfortune, the evil norns are the cause of it. 

16. Then said Ganglere: What other remark- 
able things are there to be said about the ash ? 
Har answered: Much is to be said about it. On 
one of the boughs of the ash sits an eagle, who 
knows many things. Between his eyes sits a 
hawk that is called Vedfolner. A squirrel, by 
name Ratatosk, springs up and down the tree, 
and carries words of envy between the eagle and 
Nidhug. Four stags leap about in the branches 
of the ash and bite the leaves.* Their names are : 
Dain, Dvalin, Duney and Durathro. In Hvergel- 
mer with Nidhug are more serpents than tongue 
can tell. As is here said : 

The ash Ygdrasil 
Bears distress 
Greater than men know. 
Stags bite it above, 
At the side it rots, 
Nidhug gnaws it below. 

And so again it is said : 

More serpents lie 
' ' 'Neath the Ygdrasil ash 

Than is thought of 
By every foolish ape. 
Goin and Moin 
(They are sons of Grafvitner), 

*The Icelandic barr. See Vigfusson, sub voce. 


Grabak and Grafvollud, 
Ofner and Svafner 
Must for aye, methinks, 
Gnaw the roots of that tree.* 

Again, it is said that the norns, that dwell in 
the fountain of Urd, every day take water from 
the fountain and take the clay that lies around 
the fountain and sprinkle therewith the ash, in 
order that its branches may not wither or decay. 
This water is so holy that all things that are put 
into the fountain beco'me as white as the film of 
an egg-shell. As is here said: 

An ash 1 know 
Hight Ygdrasil; 
A high, holy tree 
With white clay sprinkled. 
Thence come the dews 
That fall in the dales. 
Green forever it stands 
Over Urd's fountain.f 

The dew which falls on the earth from this 
tree men call honey-fall, and it is the food of 
bees. Two birds are fed in Urd's fountain ; they 
are called swans, and they are the parents of the 
race of swans. 

17. Then said Ganglere: Great tidings you are 
able to tell of the heavens. Are 'there other 
remarkable places than the one by Urd's foun- 
tain ? Answered Har : There are many magnifi- 

* Elder Edda: Grimner's Lay, 35. 34. 
t Elder Edda: The Vala's Prophecy, 22. 


cent dwellings. One is there called Alfheim. 
There dwell the folk that are called light-elves; 
but the dark-elves dwell down in the earth, and 
they are unlike the light- elves in appearance, but 
much more so in deeds. The light-elves are fairer 
than the sun to look upon, but the dark-elves 
are blacker than pitch. Another place is called 
Breidablik, and no place is fairer. There is also 
a mansion called Glitner, of which the walls and 
pillars and posts are of red gold, and the roof 
is of silver. Furthermore, there is a dwelling, by 
name Himinbjorg, which stands at the end of 
heaven, where the Bifrost-bridge is united with 
heaven. And there is a great dwelling called 
Valaskjalf, which belongs to Odin. The gods 
made it and thatched it with sheer silver. In 
this hall is the high-seat, which is called Hlid- 
skjalf, and when Alfather sits in this seat, he sees 
over all the world. In the southern end of the 
world is the palace, which is the fairest of all, and 
brighter than the sun ; its name is Gimle. It 
shall stand wh6n both heaven and earth shall 
have passed aw^ay. In this hall the good and the 
righteous shall dwell through all ages. Thus 
says the Prophecy of the Vala: 

A hall 1 know, standing 
Than the sun fairer, 
Than gold better, 
Gimle by name. 


There shall good 
People dwell, 
And forever 
Delights enjoy.* 

Then said Ganglere: Who guards this palace 
when Surt's fire burns up heaven and earth? 
Har answered: It is said that to the south and 
above this heaven is another heaven, which is 
called Andlang. But there is a third, which is 
above these, and is called Vidblain, and in this 
heaven we believe this mansion (Gimle) to be 
situated ; but we deem that the light-elves alone 
dwell in it now. 

* Elder Edda: The Vala's Prophecy, 70. 



18. Then said Ganglere: Whence comes the 
wind? It is so strong that it moves great seas, 
and fans fires to fiame, and yet, strong as it is, it 
cannot be seen. Therefore it is wonderfully 
made. Then answered Har : That I can tell you 
well. At the northern end of heaven sits a giant, 
who hight Hrasvelg. He is clad in eagles' plumes, 
and when he spreads his wings for flight, the 
winds arise from under them. Thus is it here 
said : 

Hrasvelg hight he 

Who sits at the end of heaven, 

A giant in eagle's disguise. 

From his wings, they say, 

The wind does come 

Over all mankind.* 

1 9. Then said Ganglere : How comes it that 
summer is so hot, but the winter so cold ? Har 
answered: A wise man would not ask such a 
question, for all are able to tell this ; but if you 
alone have become so stupid that you have not 
heard of it, then I would rather forgive you for 

* Elder Edda: Vafthrudner's Lay, 37. 



asking unwisely once than that you should go 
any longer in ignorance of what you ought to 
know. Svasud is the name of him who is father 
of summer, and he lives such a life of enjoyment, 
that everything that is mild is from him called 
sweet (svasligt). But the father of winter has 
two names, Vindlone and Vindsval. He is the 
son of Vasad, and all that race are grim and of 
icy breath, and winter is like them. 

20. Then asked Ganglere: Which are the 
asas, in whom men are bound to believe ? Har 
answered him : Twelve are the divine asas. Jafn- 
har said : No less holy are the asynjes (goddesses), 
nor is their power less. Then added Thride : 
Odin is the highest and oldest of the asas. He 
rules all things, but the other gods, each accord- 
ing to his might, serve him as children a father. 
Frigg is his wife, and she knows the fate of men, 
although she tells not thereof, as it is related that 
Odin himself said to Asa-Loke : 

Mad are you, Loke! 

And out of your senses; 

Why do you not stop? 

Fortunes all, 

Methinks, Frigg knows, 

Though she tells them not herself.* 

Odin is called Alfather, for he is the father of 
all the gods; he is also called Valfather, for all 

* Elder Edda. Loke's Quarrel, 29, 47. 


wlio fall in fight are his chosen sons. For them 
he prepares Valhal and Vingolf, where they are 
called einherjes (heroes). He is also called 
Hangagod, Haptagod, Farmagod; and he gave 
himself still more names when he came to King 
Geirrod : 

Grim is my name, 

And Ganglare, 

Herjan, Hjalmbore, 

Thek, Thride, 

Thud, Ud, 

Helblinde, Har, 

Sad, Svipal, 


Herteifc, Hnikar, 

Bileyg, Baleyg, 

Bolverk, Fjolner, 

Grimner, Glapsvid, Fjolsvid, 

Sidhot, Sidskeg, 

Sigfather, Hnikud, 

Alfather, Atrid, Farmatyr, 

Oske, Ome, 

Jafnhar, Bifiinde, 

Gondler, Harbard, 

Svidur, Svidrir, 

Jalk, Kjalar, Vidur, 

Thro, Yg, Thund, 

Vak, Skilfing, 

Vafud, Hroptatyr, 

Gaut, Veratyr.* 

Then said Ganglere : A very great number of 
names you have given him ; and this I know, for- 
sooth, that he must be a very vnse man who is 
able to understand and decide what chances are 

* Elder Edda: Grimner's Lay, 46-50. 


the causes of all these names. Har answered: 
Much knowledge is needed to explain it all 
rightly, but still it is shortest to tell you that 
most of these names have been given him for the 
reason that, as there are many tongues in the 
world, so all peoples thought they ought to turn 
his name into their tongue, in order that they 
might be able to worship him and pray to him 
each in its own language. Other causes of 
these names must be sought in his journeys, 
which are told of in old sagas ; and you can lay 
no claim to being called a wise man if you are 
not able to tell of these wonderful adventures. 

21. Then said Ganglere: What are the names 
of the other asas ? What is their occupation, and 
what works have they wrought ? Har answered : 
Thor is the foremost of them. He is called Asa- 
Thor, or Oku-Thor."^ He is the strongest of all 
gods and men, and rules over the realm which 
is called Thrudvang. His hall is called Bilskirner. 
Therein are five hundred and forty floors, and it 
is the largest house that men have made. Thus 
it is said in Grimner's Lay : 

Five hundred floors 

And forty more, 

Methinks, has bowed Bilskirner. 

Of houses all 

That I know roofed 

I know my son's is the largest.f 

* Oku is derived from the Finnish thunder-god, Ukko. 
t Elder Edda: Grimner's Lay, 24. 


Thor has two goats, by name Tangnjost and 
Tangrisner, and a chanot, wherein he drives. The 
goats draw the chariot; wherefore he is called 
Oku-Thor.* He possesses three valuable treas- 
ures. One of them is the hammer Mjolner, which 
the frost-giants and mountain-giants well know 
when it is raised ; and this is not to be wondered 
at, for with it he has split many a skull of their 
fathers or friends. The second treasure he pos- 
sesses is Megin^arder (belt of strength) ; when 
he girds himself wdth it his strength is doubled. 
His third treasure that is of so great value is his 
iron gloves ; these he cannot do without when he 
lays hold of the hammer's haft. No one is so wise 
that he can tell all his great works ; but I can 
tell you so many tidings of him that it will grow 
late before all is told that I know. 

22. Thereupon said Ganglere: I wish to ask 
tidings of more of the asas. Har gave him an- 
swer; Odin's second son is Balder, and of him 
good things are to be told. He is the best, and 
all praise him. He is so fair of face and so bright 
that rays of light issue from him ; and there is a 
plant so white that it is likened unto Balder's 
brow, and it is the whitest of all plants. From 
this you can judge of the beauty both of his hair 
and of his body. He is the wisest, mildest and 

* The author of the Younger Edda is here mistaken. See note on 
page 82. 


most eloquent of all the asas; and such is his 
nature that none can alter the judgment he has 
pronounced. He inhabits the place in heaven 
called Breidablik, and there nothing unclean can 
enter. As is here said : 

Breidablik it is called, 
Where Balder has 
Built for himself a hall 
In the land 

Where I know is found 
The least of evil.* 

23. The thii'd asa is he who is called Njord. 
He dwells in Noatun, which is in heaven. He 
rules the course of the wind and checks the fury 
of the sea and of fire. He is invoked by sea- 
farers and by fishermen. He is so rich and 
wealthy that he can give broad lands and abun- 
dance to those who call on him for them. He was 
fostered in Vanaheim, but the vans f gave him as 
a hostage to the gods, and received in his stead 
as an asa-hostage the god whose name is Honer. 
He established peace between the gods and vans. 
Njord took to wife Skade, a daughter of the giant 
Thjasse. She wished to live where her father had 
dwelt, that is, on the mountains in Thrymheim ; 
Njord, on the other hand, preferred to be near 
the sea. They therefore agreed to pass nine 

* Elder Edda: Grimner's Lay, 13. 

t Compare Vainamoinen, the son of Ukko, in the Finnish epic 


nights in Thrymheim and three in Noatun. But 
when Njord came back from the mountains to 
Noatun he sang this : 

Weary am I of the mountains, 

Not long was I there, 

Only nine nights. 

The howl of the wolves 

Methought sounded ill 

To the song of the swans. 

Skade then sang fchis : 

Sleep I could not 

On my sea-strand couch, 

For the scream of the sea-fowl. 

There wakes me. 

As he comes from the sea. 

Every morning the mew. 

Then went Skade up on the mountain, and 
-dwelt in Thrymheim. She often goes on skees 
(snow-shoes), with her bow, and shoots wild 
beasts. She is called skee-goddess or skee-dis. 
Thus it is said : 

Thrymheim it is called 

Where Thjasse dwelt, 

That mightiest giant. 

But now dwells Skade, 

Pure bride of the gods, 

In her father's old homestead.* 

24. Njord, in Noatun, afterward begat two 
•children : a son, by name Fray, and a daughter, 
by name Freyja. They were fair of face, and 

♦Elder Edda: Grimner's Lay, 11. 


mighty. Frey is the most famous of the asas. 
He rules over rain and sunshine, and over . the 
fruits of the earth. It is good to call on him for 
harvests and peace. He also sways the wealth of 
men. Freyja is the most famous of the goddesses. 
She has in heaven a dwelling which is called 
Folkvang, and when she rides to the battle, one 
half of the slain belong to her, and the other half 
to Odin. As is here said : 

Folkvang it is called, 
And there rules Freyja. 
For the seats in the hall 
Half of the slain 
She chooses each day; 
The other half is Odin's.* 

Her hall is Sesrymner, and it is large and beau- 
tiful. When she goes abroad, she drives in a car 
drawn by two cats. She lends a favorable ear to 
men who call upon her, and it is from her name 
the title has come that women of birth and wealth 
are called frur.f She is fond of love ditties, and 
it is good to call on her in love affairs. 

25. Then said Ganglere : Of great importance 
these asas seem to me to be, and it is not wonder- 
ful that you have great power, since you have 
such excellent knowledge of the gods, and know 
to which of them to address your prayers on each- 

♦Elder Edda: Grimner's Lay, 14. 

t Icel, fru {Ger. frail ; Dan. fnte), pi. frur, means a lady. It is 
used of the wives of men of rank or title. It is derived from Freyja. 


occasion. But what other gods are there ? Har 
answered : There is yet an asa, whose name is Tyr. 
He is very daring and stout-hearted. He sways 
victory in war, wherefore warriors should call on 
him. There is a saw, that he who surpasses 
others in bravery, and never yields, is Tyr-strong. 
He is also so wise, that it is said of anyone who 
is specially intelligent, that he is Tyr-learned. A 
proof of his daring is, that when the asas induced 
the wolf Fenrer to let himself be bound with the 
chain Gleipner, he would not believe that they 
would loose him again until Tyr put his hand in 
his mouth as a pledge. But when the asas would 
not loose the Fenris-wolf, he bit Tyr's hand off at 
the place of the wolf's joint (the wrist; Icel. 
iilflifir^). From that time Tyr is one-handed, and 
he is now called a peacemaker among men. 

26. Br age is the name of another of the asas. 
He is famous for his wisdom, eloquence and flow- 
ing speech. He is a master-skald, and from him 
song-craft is called brag (poetry), and such men 
or women as distinguish themselves by their elo- 
quence are called brag-men f and brag- women. 
His wife is Idun. She keeps in a box those 

* This etymology is, however, erroneous, for the word is derived 
from oln or din, and the true form of the word is olnli^r = the ell- 
joint (wrist); thus we have dlnhoge = the elbow; dln = alin (Gr. 
<b8iv^ ; Lat. ulna; cp. A.-S. el-boga; Eng. elbow) is the arm from 
the elbow to the end of the middle finger, hence an ell in long 

t Compare the Anglo-Saxon brego = itrmceTps, chief. 


apples of whicli the gods eat when they grow 
old, and then they become young again, and so 
it will be until Ragnarok (the twilight of the 
gods). Then said Ganglere : Of great importance 
to the gods it must be, it seems to me, that Idun 
preserves these apples with care and honesty. 
Har answered, and laughed: They ran a great 
risk on one occasion, whereof I might tell you 
more, but you shall first hear the names of more 

27. Heimdal is the name of one. He is also 
called the white-asa. He is great and holy ; born 
of nine maidens, all of whom were sisters. He 
hight also Hallinskide and Gullintanne, for his 
teeth were of gold. His horse hight Gulltop 
(Gold-top). He dwells in a place called Himin- 
bjorg, near Bifrost. He is the ward of the gods, 
and sits at the end of heaven, guarding the 
bridge against the mountain-giants. He needs 
less sleep than a bird; sees an hundred miles 
around him, and as well by night as by day. He 
hears the grass grow and the wool on the backs 
of the sheep, and of course all things that sound 
louder than these. He has a trumpet called the 
Gjallarhorn, and when he blows it it can be 
heard in all the worlds. The head is called 
Heimdal's sword. Thus it is here said : 


Himinbjorg it is called, 

Where Heimdal rules 

Over his holy halls; 

There drinks the ward of the gods 

In his delightful dwelling 

Glad the good mead.* 

And again, in Heimdal's Song, lie says himself: 

Son I am of maidens nine, 
Bom I am of sisters nine. 

28. Hoder higlit one of the asas, who is blind, 
but exceedingly strong ; and the gods would wish 
that this asa never needed to be named, for the 
work of his hand will long be kept in memory 
both by gods and men. 

29. Vidar is the name of the silent asa. He 
has a very thick shoe, and he is the strongest 
next after Thor. From him the gods have much 
help in all hard tasks. 

30. Ale, or Vale, is the son of Odin and Rind. 
He is daring in combat, and a good shot. 

31. Uller is the name of one, who is a son of Sif, 
and a step-son of Thor. He is so good an archer, 
and so fast on his skees, that no one can contend 
with him. He is fair of face, and possesses every 
quality of a warrior. Men should invoke him in 
single combat. 

32. Forsete is a son of Balder and Nanna, Nep's 
•daughter. He has in heaven the hall which hight 

* Elder Edda: Grimner's Lay, 13. 


Glitner. All who come to him with disputes go 
away perfectly reconciled. No better tribunal is 
to be found among gods and men. Thus it is 
here said : 

Glitner hight the hall, 
On gold pillars standing, 
And roofed with silver. 
There dwells Forsete 
Throughout all time, 
And settles all disputes.* 

♦Elder Edda: Grimner's Lay, 15. 



33. There is yet one who is numbered among 
the asas, but whom some call the backbiter of the 
asas. He is the originator of deceit, and the dis- 
grace of all gods and men. His name is Loke, or 
Lopt. His father is the giant Farbaute, but his 
mother's name is Laufey, or Nal. His brothers are 
Byleist and Helblinde. Loke is fair and beauti- 
ful of face, but evil in disposition, and very fickle- 
minded. He surpasses other men in the craft 
called cunning, and cheats in all things. He has 
often l^rought the asas into great trouble, and 
often helped them out again, with his cunning 
contrivances. His wife hight Sygin, and their 
son, Nare, or Narfe. 

34. Loke had yet more children. A giantess 
in Jotunheim, hight Angerboda. With her he be- 
gat three children. The first was the Fenris-wolf ; 
the second, Jormungand, that is, the Midgard- 
serpent, and the third, Hel. When the gods knew 
that these three children w^ere being fostered in 
Jotunheim, and were aware of the prophecies that 
much woe and misfortune would thence come to 


them, and considering that much evil might be 
looked for from them on their mother's side, and 
still more on their father's, Alfather sent some of 
the gods to take the children and bring them to 
him. When they came to him he threw the ser- 
pent into the deep sea which surrounds all lands. 
There waxed the serpent so that he lies in the 
midst of the ocean, surrounds all the earth, and 
bites his own tail. Hel he cast into Nillheim, 
and gave her power over nine worlds,* that she 
should appoint abodes to them that are sent to 
her, namely, those who die from sickness or old 
age. She has there a great mansion, and the 
walls around it are of strange height, and the 
gates are huge. Eljudner is the name of her 
hall. Her table hight famine ; her knife, starva- 
tion. Her man-servant's name is Ganglate ; her 
maid-servant's, Ganglot.f Her threshold i^ called 
stumbling-block; her bed, care; the precious 
hangings of her bed, gleaming bale. One-half of 
her is blue, and the other half is of the hue of 
flesh ; hence she is easily known. Her looks are 
very stern and grim. 

35. The wolf was fostered by the asas at home, 
and Tyr was the only one who had the courage to 
go to him and give him food. When the gods 

* Possibly this ought to read the ninth world, which would cor- 
respond with what we read on page 72, and in the Vala's Prophecy. 
See also notes. It may be a mistake of the transcriber. 

fBoth these words mean sloth. 


saw how mucli lie grew every day, and all proph- 
ecies declared that he was predestined to become 
fatal to them, they resolved to make a very strong 
fetter, which they called Lading. They brought 
it to the wolf, and bade him try his strength on 
the fetter. The wolf, who did not think it would 
be too strong for him, let them do therewith as 
they pleased. But as soon as he spurned against 
it the fetter burst asunder, and he was free from 
Lading. Then the asas made another fetter, by 
one-half stronger, and this they called Drome. 
They wanted the wolf to try this also, saying to 
him that he would become very famous for his 
strength, if so strong a chain was not able to 
hold him. The wolf thought that this fetter was 
indeed very strong, but also that his strength 
had increased since he broke Lading. He also 
took into consideration that it was necessary to 
expose one's self to some danger if he desired to 
become famous; so he let them put the fetter 
on him. When the asas said they were ready, 
the wolf shook himself, spurned against and 
dashed the fetter on the ground, so that the 
broken pieces flew a long distance. Thus he 
broke loose out of Drome. Since then it has been 
held as a proverb, " to get loose out of Lading " 
or "to dash out of Drome,'' whenever anything 
is extraordinarily hard. The asas now began to 
fear that they would not get the wolf bound. 


So Alfather sent the youth, who is called Skirner, 
and is Frey's messenger, to some dwarfs in Sv^ar- 
talfaheim, and had them make the fetter which 
is called Gleipner. It was made of six things: 
of the footfall of cats, of the beard of woman, 
of the roots of the mountain, of the sinews of the 
bear, of the breath of the fish, and of the spittle 
of the birds. If you have not known this before, 
you can easily find out that it is true and that 
there is no lie about it, since you must have ob- 
served that a woman has no beard, that a cat's 
footfall cannot be heard, and that mountains have 
no roots ; and I know, forsooth, that what I have 
told you is perfectly true, although there are 
some things that you do not understand. Then 
said Ganglere : This I must surely understand to 
be true. I can see these things which you have 
taken as proof But how was the fetter smithied ? 
Answered Har : That I can well explain to you. 
It was smooth and soft as a silken string. How 
strong and trusty it was you shall now hear. 
When the fetter was brought to the asas, they 
thanked the messenger for doing his errand so 
well. Then they went out into the lake called 
Amsvartner, to the holm (rocky island) called 
Lyngve, and called the wolf to go with them. 
They showed him the silken band and bade him 
break it, saying that it was somewhat stronger 
than its thinness would lead one to suppose. 


Then they handed it from one to the other and 
tried its strength with their hands, but it did not 
break. Still they said the wolf would be able 
to snap it. The wolf answered : It seems to me 
that I will get no fame though I break asunder 
so slender a thread as this is. But if it is made 
with craft and guile, then, little though it may 
look, that band will never come on my feet. Then 
said the asas that he would easily be able to 
break a slim silken band, since he had already 
burst large iron fetters asunder. But even if 
you are unable to break this band, you have 
nothing to fear from the gods, for we will im- 
mediately loose you again. The wolf answered: 
If you get me bound so fast that I am not able 
to loose myself again, you will skulk away, and 
it will be long before I get any help from you, 
wherefore I am loth to let this band be laid 
on me ; but in order that you may not accuse me 
of cowardice, let some one of you lay his hand 
in my mouth as a pledge that this is done with- 
out deceit. The one asa looked at the other, and 
thought there now was a choice of two evils, and 
no one would offer his hand, before Tyr held out 
his right hand and laid it in the wolf's mouth. 
But when the wolf now began to spurn against 
it the band grew stiffer, and the more he strained 
the tighter it got. They all laughed except Tyr; 
he lost his hand. When the asas saw that the 


wolf was sufficiently well bound, they took tlie 
cliain whicli was fixed to the fetter, and which 
was called Gelgja, and drew it through a large 
rock which is called Gjol, and fastened this rock 
deep down in the earth. Then they took a large 
stone, which is called Tvite, and drove it still 
deeper into the ground, and used this stone for 
a fastening-pin. The wolf opened his mouth 
terribly wide, raged and twisted himself with all 
his might, and wanted to bite them; but they 
put a sword in his mouth, in such a manner that 
the hilt stood in his lower jaw and the point in 
the upper, that is his gag. He howls terribly, 
and the saliva which runs from his mouth forms 
a river called Von. There he will lie until Ragna- 
rok. Then said Ganglere: Very bad are these 
children of Loke, but they are strong and mighty. 
But why did not the asas kill the wolf when 
they have evil to expect from him? Har an- 
swered : So great respect have the gods for their 
holiness and peace-stead, that they would not 
stain them with the blood of the wolf, though 
prophecies foretell that he must become the bane 
of Odin. 



36. Ganglere asked: Whicli are the goddesses ? 
Har answered: Frigg is the first; she possesses 
the right lordly dwelling which is called Fen- 
saler. The second is Saga, who dwells in Sokva- 
bek, and this is a large dwelling. The third is 
Eir, who is the best leech. The fourth is Gefjun, 
who is a may, and those who die maids become 
her hand-maidens. The fifth is Fulla, who is also 
a may, she wears her hair flowing and has a 
golden ribbon about her head ; she carries Frigg' s 
chest, takes care of her shoes and knows her 
secrets. The sixth is Freyja, who is ranked with 
Frigg. She is wedded to the man whose name is 
Oder; their daughter's name is Hnos, and she is 
so fair that all things fair and precious are called, 
from her name, Hnos. Oder went far away. Freyja 
weeps for him, but her tears are red gold. Freyja 
has many names, and the reason therefor is that 
she changed her name among the various nations 
to w^hich she came in search of Oder. She is called 
Mardol, Horn, Gefn, and Syr. She has the neck- 
lace Brising, and she is called Vanadis. The 



seventh is Sjofa, who is fond of turning men's 
and women's hearts to love, and it is from her 
name that love is called Sjafne. The eighth is 
Lofn, who is kind and good to those who call 
upon her, and she has permission from Alfather 
or Frigg to bring together men and women, no 
matter what difficulties may stand in the way; 
therefore " love " is so called from her name, and 
also that which is much loved by men. The 
ainth is Var. She hears the oaths and troths 
that men and women plight to each other. Hence 
.-^uch vows are called vars, and she takes vengeance 
on those who break their promises. The tenth 
is Vor, who is so wise and searching that nothing 
can be concealed from her. It is a saying that 
a woman becomes vor (ware) of what she be- 
comes wise. The eleventh is Syn, who guards the 
door of the hall, and closes it against those who 
are not to enter. In trials she guards those suits 
in which anyone tries to make use of falsehood. 
Hence is the saying that " syn is set against it," 
when anyone tries to deny ought. The twelfth 
is Hlin, who guards those men whom Frigg wants 
to protect from any danger. Hence is the saying 
that he hlins who is forewarned. The thirteenth 
is Snotra, who is wise and courtly. After her, 
men and women who are mse are called Snotras. 
The fourteenth is Gna, whom Frigg sends on her 
errands into various worlds. She rides upon a 


horse called Hofvarpner, tliat runs through the 
air and over the sea. Once, when she was riding, 
some vans saw her faring through the air. Then 
said one of them : 

What flies there? 
What fares there? 
What glides in the air? 

She answered 

I fly not, 

Though I fare 

And glide through the air 

On Hofvarpner, 

That Hamskerper, 

Begat with Gardrofa.* 

From Gna's name it is said that anything that 
fares high in the air gnas. Sol and Bil are num- 
bered among the goddesses, but their nature has 
already been described.f 

37. There are still others who are to serve in 
Valhal, bear the drink around, wait upon the 
table and pass the ale-horns. Thus they are 
named in Grimner's Lay: 

Hrist and Mist 

I want my horn to bring to me; 

Skeggold and Skogul, 

Hild and Thrud, 

Hlok and Herfjoter, 

Gol and Geirahod, 

Randgrid and Radgrid, 

And Reginleif; 

These bear ale to the einherjes.t 

* Elder Edda: Grimner's Lay, 86. 

t See page 66. 

i Elder Edda: Grimner's Lay, 36. 


These are called valkyries. Odin sends them 
to all battles, where they choose those who are 
to be slain, and rule over the victory. Gud and 
Rosta, and the youngest norn, Skuld, always ride 
to sway the battle and choose the slain. Jord, 
the mother of Thor, and Rind, Vale's mother, are 
numbered among the goddesses. 



38. Gymer higlit a man whose wife was Orbo- 
da, of the race of the mountain giants. Their 
daughter was Gerd, the fairest of all women. 
One day when Frey had gone into Hlidskjalf, 
and was looking out upon all the worlds, he saw 
toward the north a hamlet wherein was a large 
and beautiful house. To this house went a 
woman, and when she raised her hands to open 
the door, both the sky and the sea glistened 
therefrom, and she made all the world bright. As 
a punishment for his audacity in seating himself 
in that holy seat, Frey went away full of grief. 
When he came home, he neither spake, slept, 
nor drank, and no one dared speak to him. Then 
Njord sent for Skirner, Frey's servant, bade him 
go to Frey and ask him with whom he was so 
angry, since he would speak to nobody. Skirner 
said that he would go, though he was loth to 
do so, as it was probable that he would get evil 
words in reply. When he came to Frey and 
asked him why he was so sad that he would not 

*This is the Nibluncr story in a nut-shell. 


talk, Frey answered that he had seen a beautiful 
woman, and for her sake he had become so filled 
with grief, that he could not live any longer if 
he could not get her. And now you must go, 
he added, and ask her hand for me and bring 
her home to me, whether it be with or without 
the consent of her father. I will reward you well 
for your trouble. Skirner answered saying that 
he would go on this errand, but Frey must give 
him his sword, that was so excellent that it 
wielded itself in fight Frey made no objection 
to this and gave him the sword. Skirner went 
on his journey, courted Gerd for him, and got 
the promise of her that she nine nights there- 
after should come to Bar-Isle and there have 
her wedding with Frey. When Skirner came 
back and gave an account of his journey, Frey 
said : 

Long is one night, 

Long are two nights, 

How can I hold out three? 

Oft to me one month 

Seemed less 

Than this half night of love.* 

This is the reason why Frey was unarmed when 
he fought with Bele, and slew him with a hart's 
horn. Then said Ganglere : It is a great wonder 
that such a lord as Frey would give away his 
sword, when he did not have another as good. 

♦Elder Edda: Skimer's Journey, 42. 


A great loss it was to Mm wlien lie fought with 
Bele; and this I know, forsooth, that he must 
have repented of that gift. Har answered: Of 
no great account was his meeting with Bele. 
Frey could have slain him with his hand. But 
the time will come when he will find himself in 
a worse plight for not having his sword, and that 
will be when the sons of Muspel sally forth to 
the fight. 



39. Then said Ganglere : You say that all men 
who since the beginning of the world have fallen 
in battle have come to Odin in Valhal. What 
does he have to give them to eat? It seems to 
me there must be a great throng of people. Har 
answered : It is truej as you remark, that there 
is a great throng; many more are yet to come 
there, and still they will be thought too few 
when the wolf* comes. But however great may 
be the throng in Valhal, they will get plenty 
of flesh of the boar Sahrimner. He is boiled 
every day and is whole again in the evening. 
But as to the question you just asked, it seems 
to me there are but few men so wise that 
they are able to answer it correctly. The cook's 
name is Andhrimner, and the kettle is called 
Eldhrimner, as is here said : 

Andhrimner cooks 

In Eldhrimner 


Tis the best of flesh. 

There are few who know 

What the einherjes eat.f 

* The Fenris-wolf in Ragnarok. 
t Elder Edda: Grimner's Lay, 18. 



Ganglere asked ; Does Odin have tlie same kind 
of food as tlie einkerjes ? Har answered : The food 
that is placed on kis table ke gives to kis two 
wolves, wkick kigkt Gere and Freke. He needs 
no food kimself. Wine is to kim botk food and 
drink, as is kere said : 

Gere and Freke 
Sates the warfaring, 
Famous father of hosts; 
But on wine alone 
Odin in arms renowned 
Forever lives.* 

Two ravens sit on Odin's skoulders, and bring 
to kis ears all tkat tkey kear and see. Tkeir names 
are Hugin and Munin. At dawn ke sends tkem 
out to fly over tke wkole world, and tkey come 
back at breakfast time. Tkus ke gets informa- 
tion about many tkings, and kence ke is called 
Rafnagud (raven-god). As is kere said : 

Hugin and Munin 

Fly every day 

Over the great earth. 

I fear for Hugin 

That he may not return, 

Yet more am 1 anxious for Munin.f 

40. Tken asked Ganglere : Wkat do tke ein- 
kerjes kave to drink tkat is furnisked tkem as 
bountifully as tke food ? Or do tkey drink w^ater ? 
Har answered: Tkat is a wonderful question. 

♦Elder Edda: Grimner's Lay, 19. 
t Elder Edda: Grimner's Lay, 20. 


Do you suppose that Alfather invites kings, jarls, 
or other great men, and gives them water to drink ? 
This I know, forsooth, that many a one comes 
to Valhal who would think he was paying a big 
price for his water-drink, if there were no better 
reception to be found there, — persons, namely, 
who have died from wounds and pain. But I 
can tell you other tidings. A she-goat, by name 
Heidrun, stands up in Valhal and bites the leaves 
off the branches of that famous tree called Lerad. 
From her teats runs so much mead that she fills 
every day a vessel in the hall from which the 
horns are filled, and which is so large that all 
the einherjes get all the drink they want out 
of it. Then said Ganglere : That is a most useful 
goat, and a right excellent tree that must be that 
she feeds upon. Then said Har: Still more re- 
markable is the hart Eikthyrner, which stands over 
Valhal and bites the branches of the same tree. 
From his horns fall so many drops down into 
Hvergelmer, that thence flow the rivers that are 
called Sid, Vid, Sekin, Ekin, Svol, Gunthro, Fjorm, 
Fimbulthul, Gipul, Gopul, Gomul and Geirvimul, 
all of which fall about the abodes of the asas. 
The following are also named : Thyn, Vin, Thol, 
Bol, Grad, Gunthrain, Nyt, Not, Non, Hron, Vina, 
Vegsvin, Thjodnuma. 

41. Then said Ganglere: That was a wonder- 
ful tiding that you now told me. A mighty 


house must Valhal be, and a great crowd there 
must often be at the door. Then answered Har : 
Why do you not ask how many doors there are 
in Valhal, and how large they are? When you 
find that out, you will confess that it would rather 
be wonderful if everybody could not easily go in 
and out. It is also a fact that it is no more 
difficult to find room within than to get in. Of 
this you may hear what the Lay of Grimner says: 

Five hundred doors 

And forty more, 

I trow, there are in Valhal. 

Eight hundred einherjes 

Go at a time through one door 

When they fare to fight with the wolf.* 

42. Then said Ganglere: A mighty band of 
men there is in Valhal, and, forsooth, I know that 
Odin is a very great chief, since he commands 
so mighty a host. But what is the pastime of the 
einherjes when they do not drink ? Har answered : 
Every morning, when they have dressed them- 
selves, they take their weapons and go out into 
the court and fight and slay each other. That 
is their play. Toward breakfast-time they ride 
home to Valhal and sit down to drink. As is 
here said : 

All the einherjes 

In Odin's court 

Hew daily each other. 

* Elder Edda: Grimner 's Lay, 23. 


They choose the slain 

And ride from the battle-field, 

Then sit they in peace together.* 

But true it is, as you said, that Odin is a great 
chief. There are many proofs of that. Thus it 
is said in the very words of the asas themselves : 

The Ygdrasil ash 
Is the foremost of trees, 
But Skidbladner of ships, 
Odin of asas, 
Sleipner of steeds, 
Bifrost of bridges, 
Brage of Skalds, 
Habrok of hows, 
But Garm of dogs.f 

* Elder Edda: Vafthrudner's Lay, 41. 
t Elder Edda: Grimner's Lay, 44. 



43. Ganglere asked: Whose is that horse 
Sleipner, and what is there to say about it? 
Har answered : You have no knowledge of Sleip 
ner, nor do you know the circumstances attending 
his birth; but it must seem to you worth the 
telling. In the beginning, when the town of the 
gods was building, when the gods had estab- 
lished Midgard and made Valhal, there came 
a certain builder and offered to make them 
a burg, in three half years, so excellent that 
it should be perfectly safe against the mountain- 
giants and frost-giants, even though they should 
get within Midgard. But he demanded as his 
reward, that he should have Freyja, and he 
wanted the sun and moon besides. Then the 
asas came together and held counsel, and the 
bargain was made with the builder that he 
should get what he demanded if he could get the 
burg done in one winter ; but if on the first day 
of summer any part of the burg was unfinished, 
then the contract should be void. It was also 
agreed that no man should help him with the 
work. When they told him these terms, he re- 


quested that they should allow him to have the 
help of his horse, called Svadilfare, and at the 
suggestion of Loke this was granted him. 

On the first day of winter he began to build 
the burg, but by night he hauled stone for it with 
his horse. But it seemed a great wonder to 
the asas what great rocks that horse drew, and 
the horse did one half more of the mighty task 
than the builder. The bargain was firmly estab- 
lished with witnesses and oaths, for the giant 
did not deem it safe to be among the asas without 
truce if Thor should come home, who now was 
on a journey to the east fighting trolls. Toward 
the end of winter the burg was far built, and 
it was so high and strong that it could in nowise 
be taken. When there were three days left 
before summer, the work was all completed ex- 
cepting the burg gate. Then went the gods to 
their judgment-seats and held counsel, and asked 
each other who could have advised to give Freyja 
in marriage in Jotunheim, or to plunge the air 
and the heavens in darkness by taking away the 
sun and the moon and giving them to the 
giant; and all agreed that this must have been 
advised by him who gives the most bad counsels, 
namely, Loke, son of Laufey, and they threatened 
him with a cruel death if he could not contrive 
some way of preventing the builder from ful- 
filling his part of the bargain, and they pro- 


ceeded to lay hands on Loke. He in his fright 
then promised with an oath that he should so 
manage that the builder should lose his wages, 
let it cost him what it would. And the same 
evening, when the builder drove out after stone 
with his horse Svadilfare, a mare suddenly ran 
out of the woods to the horse and began to neigh 
at him. The steed, knowing what sort of horse 
this was, grew excited, burst the reins asunder and 
ran after the mare, but she ran from him into the 
woods. The builder hurried after them with all 
his might, and wanted to catch the steed, but 
these horses kept running all night, and thus the 
time was lost, and at dawn the work had not 
made the usual progress. When the builder saw 
that his work was not going to be completed, he 
resumed his giant form. When the asas thus 
became sure that it was really a mountain-giant 
that had come among them, they did not heed 
their oaths, but called on Thor. He came 
straightway, swung his hammer, Mjolner, and 
paid the workman his wages, — not with the sun 
and moon, but rather by preventing him from 
dwelling in Jotunheim ; and this was easily done 
with the first blow of the hammer, which broke 
his skull into small pieces and sent him down 
to Niflhel. But Loke had run such a race with 
Svadilfare that he some time after bore a foal. 
It was gray, and had eight feet, and this is the 


best horse among gods and men. Thus it is said 

in the Vala's Prophecy : 

Then went the gods, 

The most holy gods, 

Onto their judgment-seats, 

And counseled together 

Who all the air 

With guile had blended 

Or to the giant race 

Oder's may had given. 

Broken were oaths. 

And words and promises, — 

All mighty speech 

That had passed between them. 

Thor alon£ did this, 

Swollen with anger. 

Seldom sits he still 

When such things he hears.* 

44. Then asked Ganglere : What is there to be 
said of Skidbladner, which you say is the best of 
ships ? Is there no ship equally good, or equally 
great? Made answer Har: Skidbladner is the 
best of ships, and is made with the finest work- 
manship ; but Naglfare, which is in Muspel, is the 
largest. Some dwarfs, the sons of Ivalde, made 
Skidbladner and gave it to Frey. It is so large 
that all the asas, with their weapons and war-gear, 
can find room on board it, and as soon as the sails 
are hoisted it has fair wind, no matter whither it 
is going. When it is not wanted for a voyage, it 
is made of so many pieces and with so much skill, 
that Frey can fold it together like a napkin and 
carry it in his pocket. 

* Elder Edda: The Vala's Prophecy, 29, 30. 



Then said Ganglere: A good ship is Skid- 
bladner, but much black art must have been re- 
sorted to ere it was so fashioned. Has Thor never 
come v^here he has found anything so strong and 
mighty that it has been superior to him either 
in strength or in the black art ? Har ansv^ered : 
Few men, I know, are able to tell thereof, but 
still he has often been in difficult straits. But 
though there have been things so mighty and 
strong that Thor has not been able to gain the 
victory, they are such as ought not to be spoken 
of; for there are many proofs which all must 
accept that Thor is the mightiest. Then said 
Ganglere : It seems to me that I have now asked 
about something that no one can answer. Said 
Jafnhar : We have heard tell of adventures that 
seem to us incredible, but here sits one near who 
is able to tell true tidings thereof, and you may 
believe that he will not lie for the first time now, 
who never told a lie before. Then said Ganglere : 
I will stand here and listen, to see if any answer 
is to be had to this question. But if you cannot 



answer my question I declare you to be defeated. 
Then answered Thride : It is evident that he now 
is bound to know, though it does not seem proper 
for us to speak thereof The beginning of this 
adventure is that Oku-Thor went on a journey 
with his goats and chariot, and with him went 
the asa who is called Loke. In the evening they 
came to a bonde* and got there lodgings for the 
night. In the evening Thor took his goats and 
killed them both, whereupon he had them flayed 
and borne into a kettle. When the flesh was 
boiled, Thor and his companion sat down to sup- 
per. Thor invited the bonde, his wife and their 
children, a son by name Thjalfe, and a daughter 
by name Roskva, to eat with them. Then Thor 
laid the goat-skins away from the fire-place, and 
requested the bonde and his household to cast 
the bones onto the skins. Thjalfe, the bonde's 
son, had the thigh of one of the goats, which he 
broke asunder with his knife, in order to get at 
the marrow, Thor remained there over night. 
In the morning, just before daybreak, he arose, 
dressed himself, took the hammer Mjolner, lifted 
it and hallowed the goat-skins. Then the goats 
arose, but one of them limped on one of its hind 
legs. When Thor saw this he said that either 
the bonde or one of his folk had not dealt skill- 
fully with the goat's bones, for he noticed that 

* Bonde = peasant. 


the thigli was broken. It is not necessary to 
dwell on this part of the story. All can under- 
stand how frightened the bonde became when 
he saw that Thor let his brows sink down over 
his eyes. When he saw his eyes he thought 
he must fall down at the sight of them alone. 
Thor took hold of the handle of his hammer 
so hard that his knuckles grew white. As might 
be expected, the bonde and all his household 
cried aloud and sued for peace, offering him 
as an atonement all that they possessed. When 
he saw their fear, his wrath left him. He was 
appeased, and took as a ransom the bonde's 
children, Thjalfe and Roskva. They became his 
servants, and have always accompanied him since 
that time. 

46. He left his goats there and went on his 
way east into Jotunheim, clear to the sea, and 
then he went on across the deep ocean, and went 
ashore on the other side, together with Loke and 
Thjalfe and Roskva. When they had proceeded 
a short distance, there stood before them a great 
wood, through which they kept going the whole 
day until dark. Thjalfe, who was of all men 
the fleetest of foot, bore Thor's bag, but the 
wood was no good place for provisions. When 
it had become dark, they sought a place for 
their night lodging, and found a very large hall. 
At the end of it was a door as wide as the 


hall. Here they remained through the night. 
About midnight there was a great earthquake; 
the ground trembled beneath them, and the 
house shook. Then Thor stood up and called 
his companions. They looked about them and 
found an adjoining room to the right, in the 
midst of the hall, and there they went in. Thor 
seated himself in the door; the others went 
farther in and were very much frightened. Thor 
held his hammer by the handle, ready to defend 
himself Then they heard a great groaning and 
roaring. When it began to dawn, Thor went out 
and saw a man lying not far from him in the 
wood. He was very large, lay sleeping, and 
snored loudly. Then Thor thought he had found 
out what noise it was that they had heard in the 
night. He girded himself with his Megin^arder, 
whereby his asa-might increased. Meanwhile the 
man woke, and immediately arose. It is said 
that Thor this once forbore to strike him with 
the hammer, and asked him for his name. He 
called himself Skrymer; but, said he, I do not 
need to ask you what your name is, — I know 
that you are Asa-Thor. But what have you done 
with my glove? He stretched out his hand 
and picked up his glove. Then Thor saw that 
the glove was the hall in which he had spent the 
night, and that the adjoining room was the 
thumb of the glove. Skrymer asked whether 


they would accept of his company. Thor said 
yes. Skrymer took and loosed his provision-sack 
and began to eat his breakfast ; but Thor and his 
fellows did the same in another place. Skrymer 
proposed that they should lay their store of 
provisions together, to which Thor consented. 
Then Skrymer bound all their provisions into 
one bag, laid it on his back, and led the way 
all the day, taking gigantic strides. Late in 
the evening he sought out a place for their night 
quarters under a large oak; Then Skrymer said 
to Thor that he wanted to lie down to sleep; 
they might take the provision-sack and make 
ready their supper. Then Skrymer fell asleep and 
snored tremendously. When Thor took the provi- 
sion-sack and was to open it, then happened what 
seems incredible, but still it must be told, — 
that he could not get one knot loosened, nor 
could he stir a single end of the strings so that 
it was looser than before. When he saw that all 
his efforts were in vain he became wroth, seized 
his hammer Mjolner with both his hands, stepped 
with one foot forward to where Skrymer was 
lying and dashed the hammer at his head. Skry- 
mer awoke and asked whether some leaf had 
fallen upon his head ; whether they had taken 
their supper, and were ready to go to sleep. 
Thor answered that they were just going to sleep. 
Then they went under another oak. But the 


truth must be told, that there was no fearless 
sleeping. About midnight Thor heard that Skry- 
mer was snoring and sleeping so fast that it 
thundered in the wood. He arose and went over 
to him, clutched the hammer tight and hard, and 
gave him a blow in the middle of the crown, 
so that he knew that the head of the hammer 
sank deep into his head. But just then Skrymer 
awoke and asked : What is that ? Did an acorn 
fall onto my head ? How is it with you, Thor ? 
Thor hastened back, answered that he had 
just waked up, and said that it was midnight 
and still time to sleep. Then Thor made up his 
mind that if he could get a chance to give 
him the third blow, he should never see him 
again, and he now lay watching for Skrymer 
to sleep fast. Shortly before daybreak he heard 
that Skrymer had fallen asleep. So he arose and 
ran over to him. He clutched the hammer with 
all his might and dashed it at his temples, which 
he saw uppermost. The hammer sank up to the 
handle. Skrymer sat up, stroked his temples, and 
said: Are there any birds sitting in the tree 
above me? Methought, as I awoke, that some 
moss from the branches fell on my head. What ! 
are you awake, Thor ? It is now time to get up 
and dress ; but you have not far left to the burg 
that is called Utgard. I have heard that you 
have been whispering among yourselves that I 


am not small of stature, but you will see greater 
men when you come to Utgard. Now I will give 
you wholesome advice. Do not brag too mucli 
of yourselves, for Utgard-Loke's thanes will not 
brook the boasting of such insignificant little 
fellows as you are ; otherwise turn back, and that 
is, in fact, the best thing for you to do. But if 
you are bound to continue your journey, then 
keep straight on eastward ; my way lies to the 
north, to those mountains that you there see. 
Skrymer then took the provision-sack and threw 
it on his back, and, leaving them, turned into the 
wood, and it has not been learned whether the 
asas wished to meet him again in health. 

47. Thor and his companions went their way 
and continued their journey until noom Then 
they saw a burg standing on a plain, and it was 
so high that they had to bend their necks clear 
back before they could look over it. They drew 
nearer and came to the burg-gate, which was 
closed. Thor finding himself unable to open it, 
and being anxious to get within the burg, they 
crept between the bars and so came in. They 
discovered a large hall and went to it. Finding the 
door open they entered, and saw there many men, 
the most of whom were immensely large, sitting 
on two benches. Thereupon they approached the 
king, Utgard-Loke, and greeted him. He scarcely 
deigned to look at them, smiled scornfully and 


showed Ms teeth, saying: It is late to ask for 
tidings of a long journey, but if I am not mis- 
taken this stripling is Oku-Thor, is it not? It 
may be, however, that you are really bigger than 
you look. For what feats are you and your 
companions prepared? No one can stay with 
us here, unless he is skilled in some craft or ac- 
complishment beyond the most of men. Then 
answered he who came in last, namely Loke : I 
know the feat of which I am prepared to give 
proof, that there is no one present who can eat 
his food faster than I. Then said Utgard-Loke : 
That is a feat, indeed, if you can keep your word, 
and you shall try it immediately. He then sum- 
moned from the bench a man by name Loge, and 
requested him to come out on the floor and try 
his strength against Loke. They took a trough 
full of meat and set it on the floor, whereupon 
Loke seated himself at one end and Loge at the 
other. Both ate as fast as they could, and met 
at the middle of the trough. Loke had eaten all 
the flesh off from the bones, but Loge had con- 
sumed both the flesh and the bones, and the 
trough too. All agreed that Loke had lost the 
wager. Then Utgard-Loke asked what game that 
young man knew? Thjalfe answered that he 
would try to run a race with anyone that Utgard- 
Loke might designate. Utgard-Loke said this 
was a good feat, and added that it was to be 


hoped that he excelled in swiftness if he expected 
to win in this game, but he would soon have the 
matter decided. He arose and went out. There 
was an excellent race-course along the flat plain. 
Utgard-Loke then summoned a young man, whose 
name was Huge, and bade him run a race with 
Thjalfe. Then they took the first heat, and Huge 
was so much ahead that when he turned at 
the goal he met Thjalfe. Said Utgard-Loke: 
You must lay yourself more forward, Thjalfe, if 
you want to win the race; but this I confess, 
that there has never before come anyone hither 
who was swifter of foot than you. Then they 
took a second heat, and when Huge came to the 
goal and turned, there was a long bolt-shot to 
Thjalfe. Then said Utgard-Loke : Thjalfe seems 
to me to run well ; still I scarcely think he will 
win the race, but this will be proven when they 
run the third heat. Then they took one more 
heat. Huge ran to the goal and turned back, 
but Thjalfe had not yet gotten to the middle 
of the course. Then all said that this game had 
been tried sufficiently. Utgard-Loke now asked 
Thor what feats there were that he would be 
willing to exhibit before them, corresponding to 
the tales that men tell of his great works. Thor 
replied that he preferred to compete with some- 
one in drinking. Utgard-Loke said there would 
be no objection to this. He went into the hall, 


called his cup-bearer, and requested him to take 
the sconce-horn that his thanes were wont to 
drink from. The cup-bearer immediately brought 
forward the horn and handed it to Thor. Said 
Utgard-Loke : From this horn it is thought to be 
well drunk if it is emptied in one draught, some 
men empty it in two draughts, but there is no 
drinker so wretched that he cannot exhaust it in 
three. Thor looked at the horn and did not 
think it was very large, though it seemed pretty 
long, but he was very thirsty. He put it to his 
lips and swallowed with all his might, thinking 
that he should not have to bend over the horn 
a second time. But when his breath gave out, 
and he looked into the horn to see how it had 
gone with his drinking, it seemed to him difficult 
to determine whether there was less in it than 
before. Then said Utgard-Loke: That is well 
drunk, still it is not very much. I could never 
have believed it, if anyone had told me, that Asa- 
Thor could not drink more, but I know you will 
be able to empty it in a second draught. Thor 
did not answer, but set the horn to his lips, think- 
ing that he would now take a larger draught. 
He drank as long as he could and drank deep, as 
he was wont, but still he could not make the tip 
of the horn come up as much as he would like. 
And when he set the horn away and looked into 
it, it seemed to him that he had drunk less than 


the first time ; but the horn could now be borne 
without spilling. Then said Utgard-Loke : How 
now, Thor ! Are you not leaving more for the 
third draught than befits your skill ? It seems to 
me that if you are to empty the horn with the 
third draught, then this will be the greatest. You 
will not be deemed so great a man here among 
us as the asas call you, if you do not distinguish 
yourself more in other feats than you seem to me 
to have done in this. Then Thor became wroth, 
set the horn to his mouth and drank with all 
his might and kept on as long as he could, and 
when he looked into it its contents had indeed 
visibly diminished, but he gave back the horn 
and would not drink any more. Said Utgard- 
Loke : It is clear that your might is not so great 
as we thought. Would you like to try other 
games? It is evident that you gained nothing 
by the first. Answered Thor : I should like 
to try other games, but I should be surprised if 
such a drink at home among the asas would be 
called small. What game will you now offer me? 
Answered Utgard-Loke: Young lads here think 
it nothing but play to lift my cat up from the 
ground, and I should never have dared to offer 
such a thing to Asa-Thor had I not already seen 
that you are much less of a man than I thought. 
Then there sprang forth on the floor a gray cat, 
and it was rather large. . Thor went over to it, 


put his hand under the middle of its body and 
tried to lift it up, but the cat bent its back in 
the same degree as Thor raised his hands; and 
when he had stretched them up as far as he was 
able the cat lifted one foot, and Thor did not 
carry the game any further. Then said Utgard- 
Loke : This game ended as I expected. The cat 
is rather large, and Thor is small, and little com- 
pared with the great men that are here with us. 
Said Thor: Little as you call me, let anyone who 
likes come hither and wrestle with me, for now I 
am wroth. Answered Utgard-Loke, looking about 
him on the benches: I do not see anyone here 
who would not think it a trifle to wrestle with 
you. And again he said : Let me see first ! Call 
hither that old woman, Elle, my foster-mother, 
and let Thor wrestle with her if he wants to. 
She has thrown to the ground men who have 
seemed to me no less strong than Thor. Then 
there came into the hall an old woman. Utgard- 
Loke bade her take a wrestle w^ith Asa-Thor. 
The tale is not long. The result of the grapple 
was, that the more Thor tightened his grasp, the 
firmer she stood. Then the woman began to 
bestir herself, and Thor lost his footing. They 
had some very hard tussles, and before long Thor 
was brought down on one knee. Then Utgard- 
Loke stepped forward, bade them cease the wrest- 
ling, and added that Thor did not need to chal- 


lenge anybody else to wrestle with him in his 
hall, besides it was now getting late. He showed 
Thor and his companions to seats, and they spent 
the night there enjoying the best of hospitality. 

48. At daybreak the next day Thor and his 
companions arose, dressed themselves and were 
ready to depart. Then came Utgard-Loke and 
had the table spread for them, and there was 
no lack of feasting both in food and in drink. 
When they had breakfasted, they immediately 
departed from the burg. Utgard-Loke went with 
them out of the burg, but at parting he spoke 
to Thor and asked him how he thought his 
journey had turned out, or whether he had ever 
met a mightier man than himself Thor an- 
swered that he could not deny that he had been 
greatly disgraced in this meeting ; and this I 
know, he added, that you will call me a man 
of little account, whereat I am much mortified. 
Then said Utgard-Loke : Now I will tell you the 
truth, since you have come out of the burg, that 
if I live, and may have my way, you shall never 
enter it again; and this I know, forsooth, that 
you should never have come into it had I before 
known that you were so strong, and that you 
had come so near bringing us into great mis- 
fortune. Know, then, that I have deceived you 
with illusions. When I first found you in the 
woods I came to meet you, and when you were 


to loose the provision-sack I liad bound it with 
iron threads, but you did not find where it was 
to be untied. In the next place, you struck me 
three times with the hammer. The first blow 
w^as the least, and still it was so severe that it 
would have been my death if it had hit me. You 
saw near my burg a mountain cloven at the top 
into three square dales, of which one was the 
deepest, — these were the dints made by your ham- 
mer. The mountain I brought before the blows 
without your seeing it. In like manner I deceived 
you in your contests with my courtiers. In regard 
to the first, in which Loke took part, the facts 
w^ere as follows: He was very hungry and ate 
fast; but he whose name w^as Loge was wdld- 
fire, and he burned the trough no less rapidly 
than the meat. When Thjalfe ran a race with 
him whose name w^as Huge, that was my thought, 
and it was impossible for him to keep pace with 
its swiftness. When you drank from the horn, and 
thought that it diminished so little, then, by my 
troth, it was a great wonder, which I never could 
have deemed possible. One end of the horn 
stood in the sea, but that you did not see. When 
you come to the sea-shore you w^ill discover how 
much the sea has sunk by your drinking; that 
is now called the ebb. Furthermore he said : 
Nor did it seem less wonderful to me that you 
lifted up the cat ; and, to tell you the truth, all 


who saw it were frightened when they saw that 
you raised one of its feet from the ground, for 
it was not such a cat as you thought. It was 
in reality the Midgard-serpent, which surrounds 
all lands. It was scarcely long enough to touch 
the earth with its tail and head, and you raised 
it so high that your hand nearly reached to 
heaven. It was also a most astonishing feat 
when you wrestled with Elle, for none has ever 
been, and none shall ever be, that Elle (eld, old 
age) will not get the better of him, though he gets 
to be old enough to abide her coming. And now 
the truth is that we must part; and it will be 
better for us both that you do not visit me 
again. I will again defend my burg with similar 
or other delusions, so that you will get no power 
over me. When Thor heard this tale he seized 
his hammer and lifted it into the air, but when 
he was about to strike he saw Utgard-Loke 
nowhere ; and when he turned back to the burg 
and was going to dash that to pieces, he saw a 
beautiful and large plain, but no burg. So he 
turned and went his way back to Thrudvang. 
But it is truthfully asserted that he then resolved 
in his own mind to seek that meeting with the 
Midgard-serpent, which afterward took place. 
And now I think that no one can tell you truer 
tidings of this journey of Thor. 

49. Then said Ganglere: A most powerful 


man is Utgard-Loke, tliough he deals mucli with 
delusions and sorcery. His power is also proven 
by the fact that he had thanes who were so 
mighty. But has not Thor avenged himself for 
this? Made answer Har: It is not unknown, 
though no wise men tell thereof, how Thor made 
amends for the journey that has now been spoken 
of. He did not remain long at home, before he 
busked himself so suddenly for a new journey, 
that he took neither chariot, nor goats nor any 
companions with him. He went out of Midgard 
in the guise of a young man, and came in the 
evening to a giant by name Hymer.* Thor 
tarried there as a guest through the night. In 
the morning Hymer arose, dressed himself, and 
busked himself to row out upon the sea to fish. 
Thor also sprang up, got ready in a hurry and 
asked Hymer whether he might row out with 
him. Hymer answered that he would get but 
little help from Thor, as he was so small and 
young ; and he added, you will get cold if I row 
as far out and remain as long as I am wont. 
Thor said that he might row as far from shore 
as he pleased, for all that, and it was yet to be 
seen who would be the first to ask to row back 
to land. And Thor grew so wroth at the giant 
that he came near letting the hammer ring on 

* Called Ymer in the Younger Edda, but the Elder Edda calls 
him Hymer. 


his head straightway, but he restrained himself, 
for he intended to try his strength elsewhere. 
He asked Hymer what they were to have for 
bait, but Hymer replied that he would have to 
find his own bait. Then Thor turned away to 
where he saw a herd of oxen, that belonged to 
Hymer. He took the largest ox, which w^as 
called Himinbrjot, twisted his head off and 
brought it down to the sea-strand. Hymer had 
then shoved the boat off. Thor went on board 
and seated himself in the stern; he took two 
oars and rowed so that Hymer had to confess 
that the boat sped fast from his rowing. Hymer 
plied the oars in the bow, and thus the rowing 
soon ended. Then said Hymer that they had 
come to the place where he was wont to sit and 
catch flat-fish, but Thor said he would like to 
row much farther out, and so they made another 
swift pull. Then said Hymer that they had 
come so far out that it was dangerous to stay 
there, for the Midgard-serpent. Thor said he 
wished to row a while longer, and so he did; 
but Hymer was by no means in a happy mood. 
Thor took in the oars, got ready a very strong 
line, and the hook was neither less nor weaker. 
When he had put on the ox-head for bait, he 
cast it overboard and it sank to the bottom. It 
must be admitted that Thoi' now beguiled the 
Midgard-serpent not a whit less than Utgard- 


Loke mocked him when he was to lift the ser- 
pent with his hand. The Midgard-serpent took 
the ox-head into his mouth, whereby the hook 
entered his palate, but when the serpent per- 
ceived this he tugged so hard that both Thor's 
hands were dashed against the gunwale. Now 
Thor became angry, assumed his asa-might and 
spurned so hard that both his feet went through 
the boat and he stood on the bottom of the sea. 
He pulled the serpent up to the gunwale ; and in 
truth no one has ever seen a more terrible sight 
than when Thor whet his eyes on the serpent, and 
the latter stared at him and spouted venom. It 
is said that the giant Hymer changed hue and 
grew pale from fear when he saw the serpent and 
beheld the water flowing into the boat ; but just 
at the moment when Thor grasped the hammer 
and lifted it in the air, the giant fumbled for his 
fishing-knife and cut off Thor's line at the gun- 
wale, whereby the serpent sank back into the 
sea. Thor threw the hammer after it, and it is even 
said that he struck off* his head at the bottom, 
but I think the truth is that the Midgard-serpent 
still lives and lies in the ocean. Thor clenched 
his fist and gave the giant a box on the ear so 
that he fell backward into the sea, and he saw 
his heels last, but Thor waded ashore. 



50. Then asked Ganglere : Have there happened 
any other remarkable things among the asas ? A 
great deed it was, forsooth, that Thor wrought on 
this journey. Har answered : Yes, indeed, there 
are tidings to be told that seemed of far greater 
importance to the asas. The beginning of this 
tale is, that Balder dreamed dreams great and 
dangerous to his life. When he told these dreams 
to the asas they took counsel together, and it 
was decided that they should seek peace for 
Balder against all kinds of harm. So Frigg ex- 
acted an oath from fire, water, iron and all kinds 
of metal, stones, earth, trees, sicknesses, beasts, 
birds and creeping things, that they should not 
hurt Balder. When this was done and made 
known, it became the pastime of Balder and the 
asas that he should stand up at their meetings 
while some of them should shoot at him, others 
should hew at him, while others should throw 
stones at him ; but no matter what they did, no 
harm came to him, and this seemed to all a great 
honor. When Loke, Laufey's son, saw this, it 



displeased him very much that Balder was not 
scathed. So he went to Frigg, in Fensal, having 
taken on himself the likeness of a woman. Frigg 
asked this woman whether she knew what the 
asas were doing at their meeting. She answered 
that all were shooting at Balder, but that he was 
not scathed thereby. Then said Frigg: Neither 
weapon nor tree can hurt Balder, I have taken 
an oath from them all. Then asked the woman : 
Have all things taken an oath to spare Balder? 
Frigg answered : West of Valhal there grows a 
little shrub that is called the mistletoe, that 
seemed to me too young to exact an oath from. 
Then the woman suddenly disappeared. Loke 
went and pulled up the mistletoe and proceeded 
to the meeting. Hoder stood far to one side in 
the ring of men, because he was blind. Loke 
addressed himself to him, and asked : Why do 
you not shoot at Balder ? He answered : Because 
I do not see where he is, and furthermore I have 
no weapons. Then said Loke : Do like the others 
and show honor to Balder; I will show you where 
he stands ; shoot at him with this wand. Hoder 
took the mistletoe and shot at Balder under the 
guidance of Loke. The dart pierced him and he 
fell dead to the ground. This is the greatest 
misfortune that has ever happened to gods and 
men. When Balder had fallen, the asas were 
struck speechless with horror, and their hands 


failed them to lay hold of the corpse. One looked 
at the other, and all were of one mind toward 
him who had done the deed, but being assembled 
in a holy peace-stead, no one could take vengeance. 
When the asas at length tried to speak, the wail- 
ing so choked their voices that one could not 
describe to the other his sorrow. Odin took this 
misfortune most to heart, since he best compre- 
hended how great a loss and injury the fall of 
Balder was to the asas. When the gods came to 
their senses, Frigg spoke and asked who there 
might be among the asas who desired to win all 
her love and good will by riding the way to Hel 
and trying to find Balder, and offering Hel a ran- 
som if she would allow Balder to return home 
again to Asgard. But he is called Hermod, the 
Nimble, Odin's swain, who undertook this jour- 
ney. Odin's steed, Sleipner, was led forth. Her- 
mod mounted him and galloped away. 

51. The asas took the corpse of Balder and 
brought it to the sea-shore. Hringhorn was the 
name of Balder's ship, and it was the largest of 
all ships. The gods wanted to launch it and 
make Balder's bale-fire thereon, but they could 
not move it. Then they sent to Jotunheim after 
the giantess whose name is Hyrrokken. She 
came riding on a wolf, and had twisted serpents 
for reins. When she alighted, Odin appointed 
four berserks to take care of her steed, but they 


were unable to hold him except by throwing 
him down on the ground. Hyrrokken went 
to the prow and launched the ship with one 
single push, but the motion was so violent that 
fire sprang from the underlaid rollers and all 
the earth shook. Then Thor became wroth, 
grasped his hammer, and would forthwith have 
crushed her skull, had not all the gods asked 
peace for her. Balder's corpse was borne out on 
the ship ; and when his wife, Nanna, daughter of 
Nep, saw this, her heart was broken with grief 
and she died. She was borne to the funeral-pile 
and cast on the fire. Thor stood by and hal- 
lowed the pile with Mjolner. Before his feet ran 
a dwarf, whose name is Lit. Him Thor kicked 
with his foot and dashed him into the fire, and 
he, too, was burned. But this faneral-pile was 
attended by many kinds of folk. First of all 
came Odin, accompanied by Frigg and the valky- 
ries and his ravens. Frey came riding in his 
chariot drawn by the boar called Gullinburste or 
Slidrugtanne. Heimdal rode his steed Gulltop, 
and Freyja drove her cats. There was a large 
number of frost-giants and mountain-giants. Odin 
laid on the funeral-pile his gold ring, Draupner, 
which had the property of producing, every ninth 
night, eight gold rings of equal weight. Balder's 
horse, fully caparisoned, was led to his master's 


52. But of Hermod it is to be told that he 
rode nine nights through deep and dark valleys, 
and did not see light until he came to the Gjallar- 
river and rode on the Gjallai^-bridge, which is 
thatched with shining gold. Modgud is the 
name of the may who guards the bridge. She 
asked him for his name, and of what kin he was, 
saying that the day before there rode five fylkes 
(kingdoms, bands) of dead men over the bridge ; 
but she added, it does not shake less under you 
alone, and you do not have the hue of dead men. 
Why do you ride the way to Hel? He an- 
swered: I am to ride to Hel to find Balder. 
Have you seen him pass this way ? She answered 
that Balder had ridden over the Gjallar-bridge ; 
adding: But downward and northward lies the 
way to Hel. Then Hermod rode on till he came 
to Hel's gate. He alighted from his horse, drew 
the girths tighter, remounted him, clapped the 
spurs into him, and the horse leaped over the 
gate with so much force that he never touched 
it. Thereupon Hermod proceeded to the hall 
and alighted from his steed. He went in, and 
saw there sitting on the foremost seat his brother 
Balder. He tarried there over night. In the 
morning he asked Hel whether Balder might 
ride home with him, and told how great weeping 
there was among the asas. But Hel replied that 
it should now be tried whether Balder was so 


much beloved as was said. If all things, said 
she, both quick and dead, will weep for him, then 
he shall go back to the asas, but if anything re- 
fuses to shed tears, then he shall remain with 
Hel. Hermod arose, and Balder accompanied 
him out of the hall. He took the ring Draupner 
and sent it as a keepsake to Odin. Nanna sent 
Frigg a kerchief and other gifts, and to Fulla she 
sent a ring. Thereupon Hermod rode back and 
came to Asgard, where he reported the tidings 
he had seen and heard. 

53. Then the asas sent messengers over all the 
world, praying that Balder might be wept out of 
Hel's power. All things did so, — men and beasts, 
the earth, stones, trees and all metals, just as you 
must have seen that these things weep when they 
come out of frost and into heat. When the mes- 
sengers returned home and had done their errand 
well, they found a certain cave wherein sat a 
giantess (gygr= ogress) whose name was Thok. 
They requested her to weep Balder from Hel; 
but she answered : 

Thok will weep 

With dry tears 

For Balder 's burial; 

Neither in life nor in death 

Gave he me gladness. 

Let Hel keep what she has! 


It is generally believed tliat this Thok was 
Loke, Laufey^s son, wlio has wrought most evil 
among the asas. 

54. Then said Ganglere : A very great wrong 
did Loke perpetrate ; first of all in causing Bal- 
der's death, and next in standing in the way of 
his being loosed from Hel. Did he get no pun- 
ishment for this misdeed ? Har answered : Yes, 
he was repaid for this in a way that he will long 
remember. The gods became exceedingly wroth, 
as might be expected. So he ran away and hid 
himself in a rock. Here he built a house with 
four doors, so that he might keep an outlook on 
all sides. Oftentimes in the daytime he took 
on him the likeness of a salmon and con- 
cealed himself in Frananger Force. Then he 
thought to himself what sti'atagems the asas 
might have recourse to in order to catch him. 
Now, as he was sitting in his house, he took flax 
and yarn and worked them into meshes, in the 
manner that nets have since been made; but a 
fire was burning before him. Then he saw that 
the asas were not far distant. Odin had seen 
from Hlidskjalf where Loke kept himself Loke 
immediately sprang up, cast the net on the fire 
and leaped into the river. When the asas came 
to the house, he entered first who was wisest of 
them all, and whose name was K vaser ; and when 
he saw in the fire the ashes of the net that had 


been "burned, he understood that this must be a 
contrivance for catchins; fish, and this he told to 
the asas. Thereupon they took flax and made 
themselves a net after the pattern of that which 
they saw in the ashes and which Loke had made. 
When the net was made, the asas went to the 
river and cast it into the force. Thor held one 
end of the net, and all the other asas laid hold on 
the other, thus jointly drawing it along the stream. 
Loke went before it and laid himself down be- 
tween two stones, so that they drew the net over 
him, although they perceived that some living 
thing touched the meshes. They went up to the 
force again and cast out the net a second time. 
This time they hung a great weight to it, making 
it so heavy that nothing could possibly pass 
under it. Loke swam before the net, but when 
he saw that he was near the sea he sprang over 
the top of the net and hastened back to the force. 
When the asas saw whither he went they pro- 
ceeded up to the force, dividing themselves into 
two bands, but Thor waded in the middle of the 
stream, and so they dragged the net along to the 
sea. Loke saw that he now had only two chances 
of escape, — either to risk his life and swim out 
to sea, or to leap again over the net. He chose 
the latter, and made a tremendous leap over the 
top line of the net. Thor grasped after him and 
caught him, but he slipped in his hand so that 


Thor did not get a firm hold before he got to the 
tail, and this is the reason why the salmon has so 
slim a tail. No\y Loke was taken without truce 
and was brought to a cave. The gods took three 
rocks and set them up on edge, and bored a hole 
through each rock. Then they took Loke's sons, 
Vale and Nare or Narfe. Vale they changed into 
the likeness of a wolf, whereupon he tore his 
brother Narfe to pieces, with whose intestines 
the asas bound Loke over the three rocks. One 
stood under his shoulders, another under his loins, 
and the third under his hams, and the fetters be- 
came iron. Skade took a serpent and fastened 
up over him, so that the venom should drop from 
the serpent into his face. But Sigyn, his wife, 
stands by him, and holds a dish under the venom- 
drops. Whenever the dish becomes full, she goes 
and pours away the venom, and meanwhile the 
venom drops onto Loke's face. Then he twists his 
body so violently that the whole earth shakes, 
and this you call earthquakes. There he will lie 
bound until Eagnarok. 



55. Then said Ganglere: What tidings are to 
be told of Rao^narok ? Of this I have never 
heard before. Har answered: Great things are 
to be said thereof First, there is a winter called 
the Fimbul-winter, when snow drives from all 
quarters, the frosts are so severe, the winds so 
keen and piercing, that there is no joy in the sun. 
There are three such winters in succession, with- 
out any intervening sunnner. But before these 
there are three other winters, during which great 
ware rage over all the world. Brothers slay each 
other for the sake of gain, and no one spares his 
father or mother in that manslaughter and adul- 
tery. Thus says the Vala's Prophecy: 

Brothers will fight together 
And become each other's bane; 
Sisters' children 
Their sib shall spoil.* 
Hard is the world, 
Sensual sins grow huge. 
There are ax-ages, sword-ages — 
Shields are cleft in twain, — 
There are wind-ages, wolf-ages, 
Ere the world falls dead.f 

* Commit adultery. 

t Elder Edda: The Vala's Prophecy, 48, 49 


Then happens what will seem a great miracle, 
that the wolf* devours the sun, and this will seem 
a great loss. The other wolf will devour the 
moon, and this too will cause great mischief 
The stars shall be hurled from heaven. Then 
it shall come to pass that the earth and the 
mountains will shake so violently that trees will 
be torn up by the roots, the mountains will 
topple down, and all bonds and fetters will be 
broken and snapped. The Fenris-wolf gets loose. 
The sea rushes over the earth, for the Midgard- 
serpent writhes in giant rage and seeks to gain 
the land. The ship that is called Naglfar also 
becomes loose. It is made of the nails of dead 
men ; wherefore it is worth warning that, when 
a man dies with unpared nails, he supplies a 
large amount of materials for the building of 
this ship, which both gods and men wish may 
be finished as late as possible. But in this flood 
Naglfar gets afloat. The giant Hrym is its steers- 
man. The Fenris-wolf advances with wide open 
mouth ; the upper jaw reaches to heaven and the 
lower jaw is on the earth. He would open it 
still wider had he room. Fire flashes from his 
eyes and nostrils. The Midgard-serpent vomits 
forth venom, defiling all the air and the sea; 
he is very terrible, and places himself by the side 
of the wolf. In the midst of this clash and din 

* Fenris-wolf. 


the heavens are rent in twain, and the sons of 
Muspel come I'idiug through the opening. Surt 
rides first, and before liim and after him flames 
bni'ning fire. He has a very good sword, which 
shines blighter than the sun. As they ride over 
Bifrost it breaks to pieces, as has before been 
stated. The sons of Muspel direct their course 
to the phxin which is called Vigrid. Thither 
repair also the Fenris-wolf and the Midgard- 
serpent. To this place have also come Loke and 
Hrym, and with him all the frost-giants. In 
Loke's company ai'e all the friends of Hel. The 
sons of Muspel have there efiiilgent bands alone 
by themselves. The plain Vigrid is one hundred 
miles (rasts) on each side 

56. While these things are happening, Heim- 
dal stands up, blows with all his might in the 
Gjallar-horn and awakens all the gods, who there- 
upon hold counsel. Odin rides to Mimer's well 
to ask advice of Mimer for himself and his folk. 
Then quivers the ash Ygdrasil, and all things 
in heaven and earth fear and tremble. The asas 
and the einherjes arm themselves and speed forth 
to the battle-field. Odin rides first; with his 
golden helmet, resplendent byrnie, and his spear 
Gungner, he advances against the Fenris-wolf. 
Thoi' stands by his side, but can give him no 
assistance, for he has his hands full in his strug- 
gle with the Midgard-serpent. Frey encounters 


Surt, and heavy blows are exchanged ere Frey 
falls. The cause of his death is that he has not 
that good sword which he gave to Skirner. Even 
the dog Garm, that was bound before the Gnipa- 
cave, gets loose. He is the greatest plague. He 
contends with Tyr, and they kill each other. 
Thor gets great renown by slaying the Midgard- 
serpent, but retreats only nine paces when he 
falls to the earth dead, poisoned by the venom 
that the serpent blows on him. The wolf swallows 
Odin, and thus causes his death ; but Vidar im- 
mediately turns and rushes at the wolf, placing 
one foot on his nether jaw. On this foot he has 
the shoe for which materials have been gathering 
through all ages, namely, the strips of leather 
which men cut off for the toes and heels of 
shoes ; wherefore he who wishes to render assist- 
ance to the asas must cast these strips away. 
With one hand Vidar seizes the upper jaw of the 
wolf, and thus rends asunder his mouth. Thus 
the wolf perishes. Loke fights with Heimdal, 
and they kill each other. Thereupon Surt flings 
fii*e over the earth and burns up all the world. 
Thus it is said in the Vala's Prophecy : 

Loud blows Heimdal 
His uplifted horn. 
Odin speaks 
With Mimer's head. 
The straight- standing ash 
Ygdrasil quivers, 


The old tree groans, 
And the giant gets loose. 

How fare the asas? 

How fare the elves? 

All Jotunheim roars. 

The asas hold counsel; 

Before their stone- doors 

Groan the dwarfs, 

The guides of the wedge-rock. 

Know you now more or not? 

From the east drives Hrym, 

Bears his shield before him. 

Jormungand welters 

In giant rage 

And smites the waves. 

The eagle screams, 

And with pale beak tears corpses. 

Naglfar gets loose. 

A ship comes from the east, 
The hosts of Muspel 
Come o'er the main, 
And Loke is steersman. 
All the fell powers 
Are with the wolf; 
Along with them 
Is Byleist's brother.* 

From the south comes Surt 
With blazing fire-brand, — 
The sun of the war-god 
Shines from his sword. 
Mountains dash together. 
Giant maids are frightened. 
Heroes go the way to Hel, 
And heaven is rent in twain. 



Then comes to Hlin 
Another woe, 
When Odin goes 
With the wolf to fight, 
And Bele's bright slayer* 
To contend with Surt. 
There will fall 
Frigg's beloved. 

Odin's son goes 
To fight with the wolf. 
And Vidar goes on his way 
To the wild beast.f 
With his hand he thrusts 
His sword to the heart 
Of the giant's child, 
And avenges his father. 

Then goes the famous 

Sont of Hlodyn 

To fight with the serpent. 

Though about to die, 

He fears not the contest; 

All men 

Abandon their homesteads 

When the warder of Midgard 

In wrath slays the serpent. 

The sun grows dark, 

The earth sinks into the sea, 

The bright stars 

From heaven vanish; 

Fire rages, 

Heat blazes. 

And high flames play 

'Gainst heaven itself. § 

♦Frey. fThe Fenris-wolf. JThor. 

§ Elder Edda: The Vala's Prophecy, 50-53, 54-57, 59, 60, 62, 63. 


And asrain it is said as follows : 

Vigrid is the name of the plain 

Where in fight shall meet 

Surt and the gentle god. 

A hundred miles 

It is every way. 

This field is marked out for them. 

♦Elder Edda: Vafthrudner's Lay, 18. 



57. Then asked Ganglere : What happens when 
heaven and earth and all the world are consumed 
in flames, and when all the gods and all the 
einherjes and all men are dead ? You have 
already said that all men shall live in some 
world through all ages. Har answered: There 
are many good and many bad abodes. Best it 
is to be in Gimle, in heaven. Plenty is there of 
good drink for those who deem this a joy in the 
hall called Brimer. That is also in heaven. 
There is also an excellent hall which stands on 
the Nida mountains. It is built of red gold, and 
is called Sindre. In this hall good and well- 
minded men shall dwell. Nastrand is a large 
and terrible hall, and its doors open to the north. 
It is built of serpents wattled together, and all 
the heads of the serpents turn into the hall and 
vomit forth venom that flows in streams along 
the hall, and in these streams wade perjurers and 
murderers. So it is here said : 

A hall I know standing 

Far from the sun 

On the strand of dead bodies. 



Drops of venom 

Fall through the loop-holes. 

Of serpents' backs 

The hall is made. 

There shall wade 

Through heavy streams 


And murderers. 

But in Hvergelmer it is worst. 

There tortures Nidhug 
The bodies of the dead.* 

58. Then said Ganglere: Do any gods live 
then? Is there any earth or heaven? Har an- 
swered : The earth rises again from the sea, and 
is green and fair. The fields unsown produce 
their harvests. Vidar and Vale live. Neither 
the sea nor Surt's fire has harmed them, and they 
dwell on the plains of Ida, where Asgard was 
before. Thither come also the sons of Thor, 
Mode and Magne, and they have Mjolner. Then 
come Balder and Hoder from Hel. They all sit 
together and talk about the things that happened 
aforetime, — about the Midgard-serpent and the 
Fenris-wolf They find in the grass those golden 
tables which the asas once had. Thus it is said : 

Vidar and Vale 

Dwell in the house of the gods, 

When quenched is the fire of Surt. 

* Elder Edda: The Vala's Prophecy, 40, 41. 


Mode and Magne 

Vingner's Mjolner shall have 

When the fight is ended.* 

In a place called Hodmimer's-holt f are con- 
cealed two persons during Surfs fire, called Lif 
and Lifthraser. They feed on the morning dew. 
From these so numerous a race is descended that 
they fill the whole world with people, as is here 

Lif and Lifthraser 

Will lie hid 

In Hodmimer's-holt. 

The morning dew 

They have for food. 

From them are the races descended, t 

But what will seem wonderful to you is that 
the sun has brought forth a daughter not less 
fair than herself, and she rides in the heavenly 
course of her mother, as is here said : 

A daughter 
Is bom of the sun 
« Ere Fenrer takes her. 

In her mother's course 
When the gods are dead 
This maid shall ride. § 

And if you now can ask more questions, said 
Har to Ganglere, I know not whence that power 
came to you. I have never heard any one tell 

* Elder Edda: Vafthrudner's Lay, 51. 
t Holt = grove. 

i Elder Edda: Vafthrudner's Lay, 45. 
§ Elder Edda: Vafthrudner's Lay, 47. 


further the fate of the world. Make now the 
best use you can of what has been told you. 

59. Then Ganglere heard a terrible noise on 
all sides, and when he looked about him he stood 
out-doors on a level plain. He saw neither hall 
nor burg. He went his way and came back to 
his kingdom, and told the tidings which he had 
seen and heard, and ever since those tidings have 
been handed down from man to man. 



The asas now sat down to talk, and held their 
counsel, and remembered all the tales that were 
told to Gylfe. They gave the very same names 
that had been named before to the men and 
places that were there. This they did for the 
reason that, when a long time has elapsed, men 
should not doubt that those asas of whom these 
tales were now told and those to whom the same 
names were given were all identical. There was 
one who is called Thor, and he is Asa-Thor, the 
old. He is Oku-Thor, and to him are ascribed 
the great deeds done by Hektor in Troy. But 
men think that the Turks have told of Ulysses, 
and have called him Loke, for the Turks were 
his greatest enemies. 





1. A man by name Mgei% or Hler, who dwelt 
on the island called Hler's Isle, was well skilled 
in the black art. He made a journey to Asgard. 
But the asas knew of his coming and gave him a 
friendly reception ; but they also made use of 
many sorts of delusions. In the evening, when 
the feast began, Odin had swords brought into 
the hall, and they were so bright that it glistened 
from them so that there was no need of any other 
light while they sat drinking. Then went the 
asas to their feast, and the twelve asas who were 
appointed judges seated themselves in their high- 
seats. These are their names : Thor, Njord, Frey, 
Tyr, Heimdal, Brage, Vidar, Vale, Uller, Honer, 
Forsete, Loke. The asynjes (goddesses) also were 
with them: Frigg, Freyja, Gefjun, Idun, Gerd, 
Sigyn, Fulla, Nanna. ^ger thought all that he 
saw looked very grand. The panels of the walls 



were all covered with beautiful shields. The 
mead was very strong, and they drank deep. 
Next to ^ger sat Brage, and they talked much 
together over their drink. Brage spoke to ^ger 
of many things that had happened to the asas. 



2. Brage began his tale by telling how three 
asas, Odin, Loke and Honer, went on a journey 
over mountains and heaths, where they could get 
nothing to eat. But when they came down into 
a valley they saw a herd of cattle. From this 
herd they took an ox and went to w^ork to boil 
it. When they deemed that it must be boiled 
enough they uncovered the broth, but it was not 
yet done. After a little while they lifted the cover 
off again, but it was not yet boiled. They talked 
among themselves about how this could happen. 
Then they heard a voice in the oak above them, 
and he wIlo sat there said that he was the cause 
that the broth did not get boiled. They looked 
up and saw an eagle, and it was not a small one. 
Then said the eagle : If you will give me my fill 
of the ox, then the broth will be boiled. They 
agreed to this. So he flew down from the tree, 
seated himself beside the boiling broth, and im- 
mediately snatched up first the two thighs of the 
ox and then both the shoulders. This made Loke 
wroth : he grasped a large pole, raised it with all 



his might and dashed it at the body of the eagle. 
The eagle shook himself after the blow and flew 
up. One end of the pole fastened itself to the 
body of the eagle, and the other end stuck to 
Loke's hands. The eagle flew just high enough 
so that Loke's feet were dragged over stones and 
rocks and trees, and it seemed to him that his 
arms would be torn from his shoulder-blades. 
He calls and prays the eagle most earnestly for 
peace, but the latter declares that Loke shall 
never get free unless he will pledge himself to 
bring Idun and her apples out of Asgard. When 
Loke had promised this, he was set free and 
went to his companions again; and no more is 
related of this journey, except that they returned 
home. But at the time agreed upon, Loke coaxed 
Idun out of Asgard into a forest, saying that he 
had found apples that she would think very nice, 
and he requested her to take with her her own 
apples in order to compare them. Then came 
the giant Thjasse in the guise of an eagle, seized 
Idun and flew away with her to his home in 
Thrymheim. The asas were ill at ease on account 
of the disappearance of Idun, — they became gray- 
haired and old. They met in council and asked 
each other who last had seen Idun. The last 
that had been seen of her was that she had gone 
out of Asgard in company with Loke. Then 
Loke was seized and brought into the council, 

brage's talk. 157 

and he was threatened with death or torture. 
But he became frightened, and promised to bring 
Idun back from Jotunheim if Freyja would lend 
him the falcon-guise that she had. He got the 
falcon-guise, flew north into Jotunheim, and came 
one day to the giant Thjasse. The giant had 
rowed out to sea, and Idun was at home alone. 
Loke turned her into the likeness of a nut, held 
her in his claws and flew with all his might. 
But when Thjasse returned home and missed 
Idun, he took on his eagle-guise, flew after Loke, 
gaining on the latter with his eagle wings. When 
the asas saw the falcon coming flying with the 
nut, and how the eagle flew, they went to the 
walls of Asgard and brought with them bundles 
of plane-shavings. When the falcon flew within 
the burg, he let himself drop down beside the 
burg-wall. Then the asas kindled a fire in the 
shavings; and the eagle, being unable to stop 
himself when he missed the falcon, caught fire 
in his feathers, so that he could not fly any 
farther. The asas were on hand and slew the 
giant Thjasse within the gates of Asgard, and 
that slaughter is most famous. 



Skade, the daughter of the giant Thjasse, 
donned her helmet, and byrnie, and all her war- 
gear, and betook herself to Asgard to avenge 
her father's death. The asas offered her ransom 
and atonement ; and it was agreed to, in the first 
place, that she should choose herself a husband 
among the asas, but she was to make her choice 
by the feet, which was all she was to see of their 
persons. She saw one man's feet that were 
wonderfully beautiful, and exclaimed; This one 
I choose ! On Balder there are few blemishes. 
But it was Njord, from Noatun. In the second 
place, it was stipulated that the asas were to 
do what she did not deem them capable of, and 
that was to make her laugh. Then Loke tied 
one end of a string fast to the beard of a goat 
and the other around his own body, and one 
pulled this way and the other that, and both 
of them shrieked out loud. Then Loke let him- 
self fall on Skade's knees, and this made her 
laugh. It is said that Odin did even more than 
was asked, in that he took Thjasse's eyes and 


BR age's talk. 159 

cast them up into heaven, and made two stars of 
them. Then said JEger: This Thjasse seems to 
me to have been considerable of a man ; of what 
kin was he ? Brage answered : His father's name 
was Olvalde, and if I told you of him, you would 
deem it very remarkable. He was very rich in 
gold, and when he died and his sons were to 
divide their heritage, they had this way of meas- 
uring the gold, that each should take his mouth- 
ful of gold, and they should all take the same 
number of mouthfuls. One of them was Thjasse, 
another Ide, and the third Gang. But we now 
have it as a saw among us, that we call gold 
the mouth-number of these giants. In runes and 
songs we wrap the gold up by calling it the 
measure, or word, or tale, of these giants. Then 
said ^ger : It seems to me that it will be well 
hidden in the runes. 



3. And again said JEiger: Whence originated 
the art that is called skald ship? Made answer 
Brage : The beginning of this was, that the gods 
had a war with the people that are called vans. 
They agreed to hold a meeting for the purpose 
of making peace, and settled their dispute in this 
wise, that they both went to a jar and spit into 
it. But at parting the gods, being unwilling to 
let this mark of peace perish, shaped it into a 
man whose name was Kvaser, and who was so 
wise that no one could ask him any question that 
he could not answer. He traveled much about 
in the world to teach men wisdom. Once he 
came to the home of the dwarfs Fjalar and Galar. 
They called him aside, saying they wished to 
speak with him alone, slew him and let his blood 
run into two jars called Son and Bodn, and into 
a kettle called Odrarer. They mixed honey with 
the blood, and thus was produced such mead 
that whoever drinks from it becomes a skald and 
sage. Xhe dwarfs told the asas that Kvaser had 
choked in his wisdom, because no one was so wise 
that he could ask him enough about learning. 




4. Then the dwarfs invited to themselves the 
giant whose name is Gilling, and his wife ; and 
when he came they asked him to row out to sea 
with them. When they had gotten a short dis- 
tance from shore, the dwarfs rowed onto a blind 
rock and capsized the boat. Gilling, who was 
unable to swim, was drowned, but the dwarfs 
righted the boat again and rowed ashore. When 
they told of this mishap to his wife she took 
it much to heart, and began to cry aloud. Then 
Fjalar asked her whether it would not lighten 
her sorrow if she could look out upon the sea 
where her husband had perished, and she said 
it would. He then said to his brother Galar that 
he should go up over the doorway, and as she 
passed out he should let a mill-stone drop onto 
her head, for he said he was tired of her bawling, 
Galar did so. When the giant Suttung, the son 
of Gilling, found this out he came and seized the 
dwarfs, took them out to sea and left them on 
a rocky island, which was flooded at high tide. 
They prayed Suttung to spare their lives, and 
offered him in atonement for their father's blood 
the precious mead, which he accepted. Suttung 
brought the mead home with him, and hid it 
in a place called Hnitbjorg. He set his daughter 
Gunlad to guard it. For these reasons we call 
songship Kvaser's blood; the drink of the dwarfs; 
the dwarfs' fill ; some kind of liquor of Odrarer, 


or Bodn or Son ; the ship of the dwarfs (because 
this mead ransomed their lives from the rocky- 
isle); the mead of Suttung, or the liquor of 

5. Then remarked ^ger : It seems dark to me 
to call songship by these names ; but how came 
the asas by Suttung's mead ? Answered Brage : 
The saga about this is, that Odin set out from 
home and came to a place where nine thralls 
were mowing hay. He asked them whether they 
w^ould like to have him whet their scythes. To 
this they said yes. Then he took a whet-stone 
from his belt and whetted the scythes. They 
thought their scythes were much improved, and 
asked whether the whet-stone was for sale. He 
answered that he who would buy it must pay 
a fair price for it. All said they were willing 
to give the sum demanded, and each wanted 
Odin to sell it to him. But he threw the whet- 
stone up in the air, and when all wished to catch 
it they scrambled about it in such a manner 
that each brought his scythe onto the other's 
neck. Odin sought lodgings for the night at 
the house of the giant Bauge, who was a brother 
of Suttung. Bauge complained of what had 
happened to his household, saying that his nine 
thralls had slain each other, and that he did not 
know where he should get other workmen. Odin 
called himself Bolverk. He offered to undertake 


the work of the nine men for Baiige, but asked 
in payment therefor a drink of Suttung's mead. 
Bauge answered that he had no control over the 
mead, saying that Suttung was bound to keep 
that for himself alone. But he agreed to go 
with Bolverk and try whether they could get 
the mead. During the summer Bolverk did the 
work of the nine men for Bauge, but when winter 
came he asked for his pay. Then they both went 
to Suttung. Bauge exjDlained to Suttung his bar- 
gain with Bolverk, but Suttung stoutly refused 
to give even a drop of the mead. Bolverk then 
proposed to Bauge that they should try whether 
they could not get at the mead by the aid of 
some trick, and Bauge agreed to this. Then 
Bolverk drew forth the auger which is called 
Rate, and requested Bauge to bore a hole through 
the rock, if the auger was sharp enough. He did 
so. Then said Bauge that there was a hole 
through the rock; but Bolverk blowed into the 
hole that the auger had made, and the chips 
flew back into his face. Thus he saw that Bauge 
intended to deceive him, and commanded him 
to bore through. Bauge bored again, and when 
Bolverk blew a second time the chips flew inward. 
Now Bolverk changed himself into the likeness 
of a serpent and crept into the auger-hole. Bauge 
thrust after him with the auger, but missed him. 
Bolverk went to where Gunlad was, and shared 


her couch for three nights. She then promised 
to give him three draughts from the mead. With 
the first draught he emptied Odrarer, in the 
second Bodn, and in the third Son, and thus he 
had all the mead. Then he took on the guise of 
an eagle, and flew off as fast as he could. When 
Suttung saw the flight of the eagle, he also took 
on the shape of an eagle and flew after him. 
When the asas saw Odin coming, they set their 
jars out in the yard. When Odin reached As- 
gard, he spewed the mead up into the jars. He 
was, however, so near being caught by Suttung, 
that he sent some of the mead after him back- 
ward, and as no care was taken of this, anybody 
that wished might have it. This we call the 
share of poetasters. But Suttung's mead Odin 
gave to the asas and to those men who are able 
to make verses. Hence we call songship Odin's 
prey, Odin's find, Odin's drink, Odin's gift, and 
the drink of the asas. 

6. Then said ^ger: In how many ways do you 
vary the poetical expressions, or how many kinds 
of poetry are there? Answered Brage: There 
are two kinds, and all poetry falls into one or the 
other of these classes, ^ger asks : Which two ? 
Brage answers : Diction and meter. What diction 
is used in poetry ? There are three sorts of poetic 
diction. Which ? One is to name everything by 
its own name ; another is to name it with a pro- 


noun, but the third sort of diction is called Icen- 
ning (a poetical periphrasis or descriptive name) ; 
and this sort is so managed that when we name 
Odin, or Thor or Tyr, or any other of the asas or 
elves, we add to their name a reference to some 
other asa, or we make mention of some of his 
works. Then the appellation belongs to him who 
corresponds to the whole phrase, and not to him 
who was actually named. Thus we speak of Odin 
as Sigtyr, Hangatyr or Farmatyr, and such names 
we call simple appellatives. In the same manner 
he is called Reidartyr. 



Now it is to be said to young skalds who are 
desirous of acquiring the diction of poetry, or of 
increasing their store of words with old names, 
or, on the other hand, are eager to understand 
what is obscurely sung, that they must master 
this book for their instruction and pastime. These 
sagas are not to be so forgotten or disproved as 
to take away from poetry old periphrases which 
great skalds have been pleased with. But chris- 
tian men should not believe in heathen gods, nor 
in the truth of these sagas, otherwise than is ex- 
plained in the beginning of this book, where the 
events are explained which led men away from 
the true faith, and where it, in the next place, is 
told of the Turks how the men from Asia, who 
are called asas, falsified the tales of the things that 
happened in Troy, in order that the people should 
believe them to be gods. 

King Priam in Troy was a great chief over all 
the Turkish host, and his sons were the most dis- 
tinguished men in his whole army. That excel- 
lent hall, which the asas called Brime's Hall, or 



beer-hall, was King Priam's palace. As for the 
long tale that they tell of Ragnarok, that is the 
wars of the Trojans. When it is said that Oku- 
Thor angled wdth an ox-head and drew on board 
the Midgard- serpent, but that the serpent kept 
his life and sank back into the sea, then this is 
another version of the story that Hektor slew 
Volukrontes, a famous hero, in the presence of 
Achilleus, and so drew the latter onto him with 
the head of the slain, which they likened unto 
the head of an ox, w^hich Oku-Thor had torn off. 
When Achilleus was drawn into this danger, on 
account of his daring, it was the salvation of his 
life that he fled from the fatal blows of Hektor, 
although he was wounded. It is also said that 
Hektor waged the war so mightily, and that his 
rage was so great when he caught sight of Achil- 
leus, that nothing was so strong that it could 
stand before him. When he missed Achilleus, 
who had fled, he soothed his wrath by slaying 
the champion called Roddros. But the asas say 
that when Oku-Thor missed the serpent, he slew 
the giant Hymer. In Ragnarok the Midgard-ser- 
pent came suddenly upon Thor and blew venom 
onto him, and thus struck him dead. But the 
asas could not make up their minds to say that 
this had been the fate of Oku-Thor, that anyone 
stood over him dead, though this had so hap- 
pened. They rushed headlong over old sagas 


more than was true when they said that the Mid- 
gard-serpent there got his death ; and they added 
this to the story, that Achilleus reaped the fame 
of Hektor's death, though he lay dead on the 
same battle-field on that account. This was the 
work of Elenus and Alexander, and Elenus the 
asas call Ale. They say that he avenged his 
brother, and that he lived when all the gods were 
dead, and after the iif e was quenched that burned 
up Asgard and all the possessions of the gods. 
Pyrrhos they compared with the Fenris-wolf He 
slew Odin, and Pyrrhos might be called a wolf 
according to their belief, for he did not spare the 
peace-steads, when he slew the king in the temple 
before the altar of Thor. The burning of Troy 
they call the flame of Surt. Mode and Magne, 
the sons of Oku -Thor, came to crave the land of 
Ale or Vidar. He is ^neas. He came away 
from Troy, and wrought thereupon great works. 
It is said that the sons of Hektor came to Frigia- 
land and established themselves in that kingdom, 
but banished Elenus. 





Brage told Mger that Thor had gone eastward 
to crush trolls. Odin rode on his horse Sleipner 
to Jotunheim, and came to the giant whose name 
is Hrungner. Then asked Hrungner what man 
that was w^ho with a golden helmet rode both 
through the air and over the sea, and added that 
he had a remarkably good horse. Odin said 
that he would wager his head that so good a horse 
could not be found in Jotunheim. Hrungner 
admitted that it was indeed an excellent horse, 
but he had one, called Goldfax, that could take 
much longer paces ; and in his wrath he imme- 
diately sprang upon his horse and galloped after 
Odin, intending to pay him for his insolence. 
Odin rode so fast that he was a good distance 
ahead, but Hrungner had worked himself into 
such a giant rage that, before he was aware of 
it, he had come within the gates of Asgard. 

*This part of the Younger Edda corresponds to the Latin Ars 
Poetica, and contains the rules and laws of ancient poetry. 


When he came to the hall door, the asas invited 
him to drink with them. He entered the hall 
and requested a drink. They then took the 
bowls that Thor was accustomed to drink from, 
and Hrungner emptied them all. When he be- 
came drunk, he gave the freest vent to his loud 
boastings. He said he was going to take Valhal 
and move it to Jotunheim, demolish Asgard and 
kill all the gods except Freyja and Sif, whom he 
was going to take home with him. When Freyja 
went forward to refill the bowls for him, he 
boasted that he was going to drink up all the 
ale of the asas. But when the asas grew weary 
of his arrogance, they named Thor's name. At 
once Thor was in the hall, swung his hammer 
in the air, and, being exceedingly wroth, asked 
who was to blame that dog-wise giants were per- 
mitted to drink there, who had given Hrungner 
permission to be in Valhal, and why Freyja 
should pour ale for him as she did in the feasts 
of the asas. Then answered Hrungner, looking 
with anything but friendly eyes at Thor, and 
said that Odin had invited liim to drink, and 
that he was there under his protection. Thor 
replied that he should come to rue that invitation 
before he came out. Hrungner again answered 
that it would be but little credit to Asa-Thor to 
kill Mm, unarmed as he was. It would be a 
greater proof of his valor if he dared fight a duel 


with him at the boundaries of his territory, at 
Grjottungard. It was very foolish of me, he 
said, that I left my shield and my flint-stone at 
home ; had I my weapons here, you and I would 
try a holmgang (duel on a rocky island) ; but 
as this is not the case, I declare you a coward 
if you kill me unarmed. Thor was by no means 
the man to refuse to fight a duel when he was 
challenged, an honor which never had been shown 
him before. Then Hrungner went his way, and 
hastened with all his might back to Jotunheim. 
His journey became famonis among the giants, 
and the proposed meeting with Thor was much 
talked of. They regarded it very important who 
should gain the victory, and they feared the 
woi'st from Thor if Hrungner should be defeated, 
for he was the strongest among them. There- 
upon the giants made at Grjottungard a man of 
clay, who was nine rasts tall and three rasts 
broad under the arms, but being unable to find 
a heart large enough to be suitable for him, they 
took the heart from a mare, but even this flut- 
tered and trembled when Thor came. Hrungner 
had, as is well known, a heart of stone, sharp and 
three-sided; just as the rune has since been listed 
that is called Hrunc^ner's heart. Even his head 
was of stone. His shield was of stone, and was 
broad and thick, and he was holding this shield 
before him as he stood at Grjottungard waiting 


for Thor. His weapon was a flint-stone, which 
he swung over his shoulders, and altogether he 
presented a most formidable aspect. On one 
side of him stood the giant of clay, who was 
named Mokkerkalfe. He was so exceedingly 
terrified, that it is said that he wet himself when 
he saw Thor. Thor proceeded to the duel, and 
Thjalfe was with him. Thjalfe ran forward to 
where Hrungner was standing, and said to him : 
You stand illy guarded, giant; you hold the 
shield before you, but Thor has seen you; he 
goes down into the earth and will attack you 
from below. Then Hrungner thrust the shield 
under his feet and stood on it, but the flint-stone 
he seized with both his hands. The next that 
he saw were flashes of lightning, and he heard 
loud crashings ; and then he saw Thor in his asa- 
might advancing with impetuous speed, swinging 
his hammer and hurling it from afar at Hrungnen 
Hrungner seized the flint-stone with both his hands 
and threw it against the hammer. They met in 
the air, and the flint-stone broke. One part fell 
to the earth, and from it have come the flint- 
mountains; the other part hit Thor's head with 
such force that he fell forward to the ground. 
But the hammer Mjolner hit Hrungner right in 
the head, and crushed his skull in small pieces. 
He himself fell forward over Thor, so that his 
foot lay upon Thor's neck. Meanwhile Thjalfe 


attacked Mokkerkalfe, who fell with but little 
honor. Then Thjalfe went to Thor and was to 
take Hrungner's foot off from him, but he had 
not the strength to do it. When the asas learned 
that Thor had fallen, they all came to take the 
giant's foot off, but none of them was able to 
move it. Then came Magne, the son of Thor 
and Jarnsaxa. He was only three nights of age. 
He threw Hrungner's foot off Thor, and said' 
It was a great mishap, father, that I came so late. 
I think I could have slain this giant with my 
fist, had I met him. Then Thor arose, greeted 
his son lovingly, saying that he would become 
great and powerful; and, added he, I will give 
you the horse Goldfax, that belonged to Hrung- 
ner. Odin said that Thor did wrong in giving 
so fine a horse to the son of a giantess, instead 
of to his father. Thor went home to Thrudvang, 
but the flint-stone still stuck fast in his head. Then 
came the vala whose name is Groa, the wife of 
Orvandel the Bold. She sang her magic songs 
over Thor until the flint-stone became loose. But 
when Thor perceived this, and was just expecting 
that the flint-stone would disappear, he desired 
to reward Groa for her healing, and make her 
heart glad. So he related to her how he had 
waded from the north over the Elivogs rivers, 
and had borne in a basket on his back Orvandel 
from Jotunheim ; and in evidence of this he told 


her how that one toe of his had protruded from 
the basket and had frozen, wherefore Thor had 
broken it off and had cast it up into the sky, 
and made of it the star which is called Orvan- 
del's toe. Finally he added that it would not be 
long before Orvandel would come home. But 
Groa became so glad that she forgot her magic 
songs, and so the flint-stone became no looser 
than it was, and it sticks fast in Thor's head yet. 
For this reason it is forbidden to throw a flint- 
stone across the floor, for then the stone in Thor's 
head is moved. Out of this saga Thjodolf of 
Hvin has made a song : 

We have ample evidence 

Of the giant- terrifier's * journey 

To Grjottungard, to the giant Hrungner, 

In the midst of encircling flames. 

The courage waxed high in Meile's brother;! 

The moon- way trembled 

When .lord's son X went 

To the steel-gloved contest. 

The heavens stood all in flames 

For Uller's step-father, § 

And the earth rocked. 

Svolne's || widow H burst asunder 

When the span of goats 

Drew the sublime chariot 

And its divine master 

To the meeting with Hrungner. 

* Thor's. t Thor. t Jord's (= earth's) son = Thor. 
§Thor. II Odin's. If The earth. 


Balder's brother* did not tremble 
Before the greedy fiend of men; 
Mountains quaked and rocks broke; 
The heavens were wrapped in flames. 
Much did the giant 
Get frightened, I learn, 
When his bane man he saw 
Ready to slay him. 

Swiftly the gray shield flew 

'Neath the heels of the giant. 

So the gods willed it, 

So willed it the valkyries. 

Hrungner the giant, 

Eager for slaughter, 

Needed not long to wait for blows 

From the valiant friend of the hammer. 

The slayer t of Dele's evil race 

Made fall the bear of the loud-roaring mountain; | 

On his shield 

Bite the dust 

Must the giant 

Before the sharp-edged hammer, 

When the giant-crusher 

Stood against the mighty Hrungner, 

And the flint- stone 

(So hard to break) 

Of the friend of the troll-women 

Into the skull did whiz 

Of Jord's son, § 

And this flinty piece 

Fast did stick 

In Eindride'sll blood; 

Until Orvandel's wife, 
Magic songs singing, 

Thor. t Thor. t The giant Hrungner. § Thor. 1 Thor's. 


From the head of Thor 
Removed the giant's 
Excellent flint-stone. 
All do I know 
About that shield -journey. 
A shield adorned 
With hues most splendid 
I received from Thorleif. 


Then said JEgev : Much of a man, it seems to 
me, was that Hrungner. Has Thor accomplished 
any other great deeds in his intercourse with 
trolls (giants)? Then answered Brage: It is 
worth giving a full account of how Thor made a 
journey to Geirrodsgard. He had with him 
neither the hammer Mjolner, nor his belt of 
strength, Megingjard, nor his steel gloves; and 
that was Loke's fault, — he was with him. For 
it had happened to Loke, when he once flew 
out to amuse himself in Frigg's falcon-guise, that 
he, out of curiosity, flew into Geirrodsgard, where 
he saw a large hall. He sat down and looked 
in through the window, but Geirrod discovered 
him, and ordered the bird to be caught and 
brought to him. The servant had hard work 
to climb up the wall of the hall, so high was 
it. It amused Loke that it gave the servant so 
much trouble to get at him, and he thought it 
would be time enough to fly away when he 


had gotten over the worst. When the latter 
now caught at him, Loke spread his wings and 
spurned with his feet, but these were fast, and 
so Loke was caught and brought to the giant. 
When the latter saw his eyes he suspected that 
it was a man. He put questions to him and bade 
him answer, but Loke refused to speak. Then 
Geirrod locked him down in a chest, and starved 
him for three months ; and when Geirrod finally 
took him up again, and asked him to speak, 
Loke confessed who he was, and to save his life 
he swore an oath to Geirrod that he would get 
Thor to come to Geirrodsgard without his ham- 
mer or his belt of strength. 

On his way Thor visited the giantess whose 
name is Grid. She was the mother of Vidar the 
Silent. She told Thor the truth concerning 
Geirrod, that he was a dog-^wise and dangerous 
giant ; and she lent him her own belt of strength 
and steel gloves, and her staff, which is called 
Gridarvol. Then Went Thor to the river which 
is called Vimei*, and which is the largest of all 
rivers. He buckled on the belt of strength and 
stemmed the wild torrent with Gridarvol, but 
Loke held himself fast in Megin^ard. When 
Thor had come into the middle of the stream, 
the river waxed so greatly that the waves dashed 
over his shoulders. Then quoth Thor : 


Wax not Viraer, 
Since I intend to wade 
To the gards of giants. 
Know, if you wax, 
Then waxes my asa- might 
As high as the heavens. 

Then Thor looked up and saw in a cleft Gjalp, 
the daughter of Geirrod, standing on both sides 
of the stream, and causing its growth. Then 
took he up out of the river a huge stone and 
threw at her, saying: At its source the stream 
must be stemmed.* He was not wont to miss 
his mark. At the same time he reached the 
river bank and got hold of a shrub, and so he 
got out of the river. Hence comes the adage 
that a shrub saved Tlior.'^ When Thor came 
to Geirrod, he and his companion were shown to 
the guest-room, where lodgings were given them, 
but there was but one seat, and on that Thor sat 
down. Then he became aware that the seat was 
raised under him toward the roof. He put the 
Gridarvol against the rafters, and pressed him- 
self down against the seat. Then was heard a 
great crash, which was followed by a loud scream- 
ing. Under the seat were Geirrod's daughters, 
Gjalp and Greip, and he had broken the backs 
of both of them. Then quoth Thor : 

Once I employed 

My asa-might 

In the gards of the giants. 

* Icelandic proverb. f Icelandic proverb. 


When Gjalp and Greip, 

Geirrod's daughters, 

Wanted to lift me to heaven. 

Then Geirrod had Thor invited into the hall 
to the games. Large fires burned along the 
whole length of the hall. When Thor came 
into the hall, and stood opposite Geirrod, the 
latter seized with a pair of tongs a red-hot iron 
wedge and threw it at Thor. But he caught 
it with his steel gloves, and lifted it up in the 
air. Geirrod sprang behind an iron post to 
guard himself. But Thor threw the wedge with 
so great force that it struck through the post, 
through Geirrod, through the wall, and then 
went out and into the ground. From this saga, 
Eilif, son of Gudrun, made the following song, 
called Thor's Drapa : 

The Midgard-serpent's father exhorted 

Thor, the victor of giants, 

To set out from home. 

A great liar was Loke. 

Not quite confident. 

The companion of the war-god 

Declared green paths to lie 

To the gard of Geirrod. 

Thor did not long let Loke 

Invite him to the arduous journey. 

They were eager to crush 

Thorn's descendants. 

When he, who is wont to swing Megingjard, . 

Once set out from Odin's home 

To visit Ymer's children in Gandvik, 


The giantess Gjalp, 
Perjured Geirrod's daughter, 
Sooner got ready magic to use 
Than the god of war and Loke. 
A song I recite. 

Those gods noxious to the giants 
Planted their feet 
In Endil's land, 

And the men wont to battle 

Went forth. 

The message of death 

Came of the moon-devourer's women, 

When the cunning and wrathful 

Conqueror of Loke 

Challenged to a contest 

The giantess. 

And the troll- woman's disgracer 

Waded across the roaring stream, — 

Rolling full of drenched snow over its banks. 

He who puts giants to flight 

Rapidly advanced 

O'er the broad watery way. 

Where the noisy stream's 

Venom belched forth. 

Thor and his companions 

Put before him the staff; 

Thereon he rested 

Whilst over they waded: 

Nor sleep did the stones, — 

The sonorous staff striking the rapid wave 

Made the river-bed ring, — 

The mountain- torrent rang with stones. 

The wearer of Megingjard 
Saw the flood fall 
On his hard- waxed shoulders: 
He could do no better. 


The destroyer of troll-children 

Let his neck-strength 

Wax heaven high, 

Till the mighty stream should diminish. 

But the warriors, 

The oath-bound protectors of Asgard, — 

The experienced vikings,— 

Waded fast and the stream sped on. 

Thou god of the bow! 

The billows 

Blown by the mountain-storm 

Powerfully rushed 

Over Thor's shoulders. 

Thjalfe and his companion, 

With their heads above water, 

Got over the river, — 

To Thor's belt they clung. 

Their strength was tested,— 

Geirrod's daughters made hard the stream 

For the iron rod. 

Angry fared Thor with the Gridarvol. 

Nor did courage fail 

Those foes of the giant 

In the seething vortex. 

Those sworn companions 

Regarded a brave heart 

Better than gold. 

Neither Thor's nor Thjalfe 's heart 

From fear did tremble. 

And the war companions — 
Weapons despising — 
'Mong the giants made havoc, 
Until, woman! 
The giant destroyers 
The conflict of helmets 
With the warlike race 
Did commence. 


The giants of Iva's* capes 

Made a rush with Geirrod; 

The foes of the cold Svithiod 

Took to flight. 

Geirrod 's giants 

Had to succumb 

When the hghtning wielder'sf kinsmen 

Closely pursued them. 

Wailing was 'mongst the cave-dwellers 

When the giants, 

With warlike spirit endowed, 

Went forward. 

There was war. 

The slayer of troll- women, 

By foes surrounded, 

The giant's hard head hit. 

With violent pressure 
Were pressed the vast eyes 
Of Gjalp and Greip 
Against the high roof. 
The fire-chariot's driver 
The old backs broke 
Of both these maids 
For the cave-woman. 

The man of the rocky way 

But scanty knowledge got; 

Nor able were the giants 

To enjoy perfect gladness. 

Thou man of the bow-string! 

The dwarf's kinsman 

An iron beam, in the forge heated, 

Threw agamst Odin's dear son. 

* A river in Jotunheim. 

t Thor's kinsmen = the asas. 


But the battle-hastener, 
Freyja's old friend, 
With swift hands caught 
In the air the beam 
As it flew from the hands 
Of the father of Greip, — 
His breast with anger swollen 
Against Thruda's* father. 

Geirrod's hall trembled 

When he struck, 

With his broad head, 

'Gainst the old column of the house-wall. 

UUer's splendid flatterer 

Swung the iron beam 

Straight 'gainst the head 

Of the knavish giant. 

The crusher of the hall-wont troll-women 

A splendid victory won 

Over Glam's descendants; 

With gory hammer fared Thor. 


Which made disaster 

'Mong Geirrod's companion, 

Was not used 'gainst that giant himself. 

The much worshiped thunderer, 
With all his might, slew 
The dwellers in Alfheim 
With that little willow-twig, 
And no shield 
Was able to resist 
The strong age-diminisher 
Of the mountain-king. 

*Thruda was a daughter of Thor and Sif. 



How shall Idun be named ? She is called the 
wife of Brage, the keeper of the apples ; but the 
apples are called the medicine to bar old age 
(ellilyf, elixir vitse). She is also called the booty 
of the giant Thjasse, according to what has before 
been said concerning how he took her away from 
the asas. From this saga Thjodolf, of Hvin, 
composed the following song in his Haustlong : 

How shall the tongue 
Pay an ample reward 
For the sonorous shield 
Which I received from Thorleif, 
Foremost 'mong soldiers? 
On the splendidly made shield 
I see the unsafe journey 
Of three gods and Thjasse. 

Idun's robber flew long ago 

The asas to meet 

In the giant's old eagle-guise. 

The eagle perched 

Where the asas bore 

Their food to be cooked. 

Ye women! The mountain-giant 

Was not wont to be timid. 

Suspected of malice 

Was the giant toward the gods. 

Who causes this? 

Said the chief of the gods. 

The wise-worded giant-eagle 

From the old tree began to speak. 

The friend of Honer 

Was not friendly to him. 


The mountain-wolf from Honer 

Asked for his fill 

From the holy table: 

It fell to Honer to blow the fire. 

The giant, eager to kill, 

Glided down 

Where the unsuspecting gods, 

Odin, Loke and Honer, were sitting. 

The fair lord of the earth 

Bade Farbaute's son 

Quickly to share 

The ox with the giant; 

But the cunning foe of the asas 

Thereupon laid 

The four parts of the ox 

Upon the broad table. 

And the huge father of Mom* 
Afterward greedily ate 
The ox at the tree-root. 
That was long ago, 
Until the profound 
Loke the hard rod laid 
'Twixt the shoulders 
Of the giant Thjasse. 

Then clung with his hands 

The husband of Sigyn 

To Skade's foster-son. 

In the presence of all the gods. 

The pole stuck fast 

To Jotunheim's strong fascinator. 

But the hands of Honer's dear friend 

Stuck to the other end. 

Flew then with the wise god 
The voracious bird of prey 
Far away; so the wolf's father 
To pieces must be torn. 

* A troll- woman. 


Odin's friend got exhausted. 
Heavy grew Lopt. 
Odin's companion 
Must sue for peace. 

Hymer's kinsman demanded 

That the leader of hosts 

The sorrow-healing maid, 

Who the asas' youth-preserving apples keeps, 

Should bring to him. 

Brisingamen's thief 

Afterward brought Idun 

To the gard of the giant. 

Sorry were not the giants 
After this had taken place, 
Since from the south 
Idun had come to the giants. 
All the race 

Of Yngve-Frey, at the Thing, 
Grew old and gray, — 
Ugly-looking were the gods. 

Until the gods found the blood-dog, 

Idun's decoying thrall, 

And bound the maid's deceiver. 

You shall, cunning Loke, 

Spake Thor, die; 

Unless back you lead. 

With your tricks, that 

Good joy-increasing maid. 

Heard have I that thereupon 

The friend of Honer flew 

In the guise of a falcon 

(He often deceived the asas with his cunning); 

And the strong fraudulent giant, 

The father of Morn, 

With the wings of the eagle 

Sped after the hawk's child. 


The holy gods soon built a fire — 

They shaved off kindlings — 

And the giant was scorched. 

This is said in memory 

Of the dwarf's heel-bridge.* 

A shield adorned with splendid lines 

From Thorleif I received. 


How shall gold be named ? It may be called 
^ger's fire; the needles of Glaser; Sifs hair; 
Fulla's head-gear; Freyja's tears; the chatter, talk 
or word of the giants ; Draupner's drop ; Draup- 
ner's rain or shower; Freyja's eyes; the otter- 
ransom, or stroke-ransom, of the asas; the seed 
of Fyrisvold; Holge's how-roof; the fire of all 
waters and of the hand; or the stone, rock or 
gleam of the hand. 

Why is gold called ^ger's fire? The saga 
relating to this is, as has before been told, that 
^ger made a visit to Asgard, but when he was 
ready to return home he invited Odin and all 
the asas to come and pay him a visit after the 
lapse of three months. On this journey went 
Odin, Njord, Frey, Tyr, Brage, Vidar, Loke ; and 
also the asynjes, Frigg, Freyja, Ge^un, Skade, 
Idun, Sif. Thor was not there, for he had gone 
eastward to fight trolls. When the gods had 
taken their seats, yEger let his servants bring in 

* Shield. ^ 


on the liall floor bright gold, which shone and 
lighted up the whole hall like fire, just as the 
swords in Valhal are used instead of fire. Then 
Loke bandied hasty words wdth all the gods, and 
slew ^fi^er's thrall who was called Fimafensr. The 
name of his other thrall is Elder. The name of 
^ger's wife is Ran, and they have nine daugh- 
ters, as has befoi*e been written. At this feast 
all things passed around spontaneously, both food 
and ale and all the utensils needed for the feast- 
ing. Then the asas became aware that Ran had 
a net in which she caught all men who perish at 
sea. Then the saga goes on telling how it hap- 
pens that gold is called the fire, or light or bright- 
ness of ^ger, of Ran, or of ^ger's daughters ; 
and from these periphrases it is allowed to call 
gold the fire of the sea, or of any of the periphrases 
of the sea, since ^ger and Ran are found in peri- 
phrases of the sea ; and thus gold is now called 
the fire of waters, of rivers, or of all the peri- 
phrases of rivers. But these names have fared 
like other periphrases The younger skald has 
composed poetry after the pattern of the old 
skalds, imitating their songs ; but afterward they 
have expanded the metaphors whenever they 
thought they could improve upon what was sung 
before ; and thus the water is the sea, the nver is 
the lakes, the brook is the river. Hence all the 
figures that are expanded more than what has 


before been found are called new tropes, and all 
seem good tliat contain likeliliood and are natural. 
Thus sang the skald Brage : 

From the king I received 
The fire of the brook. 
This the king gave to me 
And a head with song. 

Why is gold called the needles or leaves of 
Glaser ? In Asgard, before the doors of Valhal, 
stands a grove which is called Glaser, and all its 
leaves are of red gold, as is here sung : 

Glaser stands 
With golden leaves 
Before Sigtyr's halls. 

This is the fairest forest among gods and men. 


Why is gold called Sif s hair ? Loke Laufey's 
son had once craftily cut all the hair off Sif; but 
when Thor found it out he seized Loke, and 
would have broken every bone in him, had he 
not pledged himself with an oath to get the 
swarthy elves to make for Sif a hair of gold that 
should grow like other hair. Then went Loke 
to the dwarfs that are called Ivald's sons, and 
they made the hair and Skidbladner, and the 
spear that Odin owned and is called Gungner. 
Thereupon Loke wagered his head with the dwarf, 


who hight Brok, that his brother Sindre would 
not be able to make three other treasures equally 
as good as these were. But when they came to 
the smithy, Sindre laid a pig-skin in the furnace 
and requested Brok to blow the bellows, and not 
to stop blowing before he (Sindre) had taken out 
of the furnace what he had put into it. As soon, 
however, as Sindre had srone out of the smithv 
and Brok was blowing, a fly lighted on his hand 
and stung him ; but he kept on blowing as before 
until the smith had taken the work out of the 
furnace. That was now a boar, and its bristles 
were of gold. Thereupon he laid gold in the fur- 
nace, and requested Brok to blow, and not to stop 
plying the bellows before he came back. He 
went out ; but then came the fly and lighted on 
his neck and stung him still worse ; but he con- 
tinued to work the bellows until the smith took 
out of the furnace the gold ring called Draupner. 
Then Sindre placed iron in the furnace, and re- 
quested Brok to work the bellows, adding that 
otherwise all would be worthless. Now the fly 
lighted between his eyes and stung his eye-lids, 
and as the blood ran down into his eyes so that 
he could not see, he let go of the bellows just for 
a moment and drove the fly away with his hands. 
Then the smith came back and said that all that 
lay in the furnace came near being entirely spoiled. 
Thereupon he took a hammer out of the furnace. 


All these treasures he then placed in the hands 
of his brother Brok, and bade him go with Loke 
to Asgard to fetch the wager. When Loke and 
Brok brought forth the treasures, the gods seated 
themselves upon their doom-steads. It was agreed 
to abide by the decision which should be pro- 
nounced by Odin, Thor and Frey. Loke gave to 
Odin the spear Gungner, to Thor the hair, which 
Sif was to have, and to Frey, Skidbladner; and 
he described the qualities of all these treasures, 
stating that the spear never would miss its mark, 
that the hair would grow as soon as it was placed 
on Sif's head, and that Skidbladner would always 
have fair wind as soon as the sails were hoisted, 
no matter where its owner desired to go ; besides, 
the ship could be folded together like a napkin 
and be carried in his pocket if he desired. Then 
Brok produced his treasures. He gave to Odin 
the ring, saying that every ninth night eight other 
rings as heavy as it would drop from it ; to Frey 
he gave the boar, stating that it would run through 
the air and over seas, by night or by day, faster 
than any horse; and never could it become so dark 
in the night, or in the worlds of darkness, but 
that it would be light where this boar was pres- 
ent, so bright shone his bristles. Then he gave 
to Thor the hammer, and said that he might strike 
with it as hard as he pleased ; no matter what was 
before him, the hammer would take no scathe, 


and wherever he might throw it he would never 
lose it ; it would never fly so far that it did not 
return to his hand ; and if he desired, it would 
become so small that he might conceal it in his 
bosom ; but it had one fault, which was, that the 
handle was rather short. The decision of the 
gods was, that the hammer was the best of all 
these treasures and the greatest protection against 
the frost-giants, and they declared that the dwarf 
had fairly won the wager. Then Loke offered to 
ransom his head. The dwarf answered saying 
there was no hope for him on that score. Take 
me, then ! said Loke ; but when the dwarf was to 
seize him Loke was far away, for he had the shoes 
with which he could run through the air and 
over the sea. Then the dwarf requested Thor to 
seize him, and he did so. Now the dwarf wanted 
to cut the head off Loke, but Loke said that the 
head was his, but not the neck. Then the dwarf 
took thread and a knife and wanted to pierce 
holes in Loke's lips, so as to sew his mouth to- 
gether, but the knife would not cut. Then said 
he, it would be better if he had his brother's awl, 
and as soon as he named it the awl was there 
and it pierced Loke's lips. Now Brok sewed 
Loke's mouth together, and broke oft' the thread 
at the end of the sewing. The thread with which 
the mouth of Loke was sewed together is called 
Vartare (a strap). 



The following is the reason why gold is called 
otter-ransom: It is related that three asas went 
abroad to learn to know the whole world, Odin, 
Honer and Loke. They came to a river, and 
walked along the river-bank to a force, and near 
the force was an otter. The otter had caught 
a salmon in the force, and sat eating it with his 
eyes closed. Loke picked up a stone, threw it at 
the otter and hit him in the head. Loke bragged 
of his chase, for he had secured an otter and a 
salmon with one throw. They took the salmon 
and the otter with them, and came to a byre, 
where they entered. But the name of the bonde 
who lived there was Hreidmar. He was a mighty 
man, and thoroughly skilled in the black art. 
The asas asked for night-lodgings, stating that 
they had plenty of food, and showed the bonde 
their game. But when Hreidmar saw the otter 
he called his sons, Fafher and Begin, and said 
that Otter, their brother, was slain, and also told 
who had done it. Then the father and the sons 
attacked the asas, seized them and bound them, 
and then said, in reference to the otter, that he 
was Hreidmar's son. The asas offered, as a ransom 
for their lives, as much money as Hreidmar him- 
self might demand, and this was agreed to, and 
confirmed with an oath. Then the otter was 


flayed. Hreidmar took the otter-belg and said 
to them that they should fill the belg with red 
gold, and then cover it with the same metal, and 
when this was done they should be set free. 
Thereupon Odin sent Loke to the home of the 
swarthy elves, and he came to the dwarf whose 
name is Andvare, and who lived as a fish, in the 
water. Loke caught him in his hands, and de- 
manded of him, as a ransom for his life, all the 
gold that he had in his rock. And when they 
entered the rock, the dwarf produced all the gold 
that he owned, and that was a very large amount. 
Then the dwarf concealed in his hand a small 
gold ring. Loke saw this, and requested him to 
hand forth the ring. The dwarf begged him not 
to take the ring away from him, for with this 
ring he could increase his wealth again if he 
kept it. Loke said the dwarf should not keep 
as much as a penny, took the ring from him and 
went out. But the dwarf said that that ring 
should be the bane of every one who possessed 
it. Loke replied that he was glad of this, and 
said that all should be fulfilled according to his 
prophecy : he would take care to bring the curse 
to the ears of him who was to receive it. He 
went to Hreidmar and showed Odin the gold; but 
when the latter saw the ring, it seemed to him 
a fair one, and he took it and put it aside, giving 
Hreidmar the rest of the gold. They filled the 


otter-beig as full as it would hold, and raised 
it up when it was full. Then came Odin, and 
was to cover the belg with gold ; and when this 
was done, he requested Hreidmar to come and 
see whether the belg was sufficiently covered. 
But Hreidmar looked at it, examined it closely, 
and saw a mouth-hair, and demanded that it 
should be covered, too, otherwise the agreement 
would be broken. Then Odin brought forth 
the ring and covered with it the mouth-hair, 
saying that now they had paid the otter-ransom. 
But when Odin had taken his spear, and Loke 
his shoes, so that they had nothing more to fear, 
Loke said that the curse that Andvare had pro- 
nounced should be fulfilled, and that the ring 
and that gold should be the bane of its possess- 
or ; and this curse was afterward fulfilled. This 
explains why gold is called the otter-ransom, or 
forced payment of the asas, or strife-metal. 

What more is there to be told of this gold ? 
Hreidmar accepted the gold as a ransom for his 
son, but Fafner and Regin demanded their share 
, of it as a ransom for their brother. Hreidmar was, 
however, unwilling to give them as much as a 
penny of it. Then the brothers made an agree- 
ment to kill their father for the sake of the gold. 
When this was done, Regin demanded that Faf- 
ner should give him one half of it. Fafner an- 
swered that there was but little hope that he 


would share the gold with his brother, since he 
had himself slain his father to obtain it ; and he 
commanded E-egin to get him gone, for else the 
same thing would happen to him as had hap- 
pened to Hreidmar. Fafner had taken the sword 
hight Hrotte, and the helmet which had belonged 
to his father, and the latter he had placed on his 
head. This was called the ^ger's helmet, and 
it was a terror to all living to behold it. Regin 
had the sword called Refil. With it he fled. 
But Fafner went to Gnita-heath (the glittering 
heath), where he made himself a bed, took on 
him the likeness of a serpent (dragon), and lay 
brooding over the gold. 

Regin then went to Thjode, to king Hjalprek, 
and became his smith. There he undertook the 
fostering of Sigurd (Sigfrid), the son of Sigmund, 
the son of Volsung and the son of Hjordis, the 
daughter of Eylime. Sigurd was the mightiest 
of all the kings of hosts, in respect to both family 
and power and mind. Regin explained to him 
where Fafner was lying on the gold, and egged 
him on to try to get possession thereof Then 
Regin made the sword which is hight Gram 
(wrath), and which was so sharp that when 
Sigurd held it in the flowing stream it cut asun- 
der a tuft of wool which the current carried down 
against the sword's edge. In the next place, 
Sigurd cut with his sword Regin's anvil in twain. 


Thereupon Sigurd and Regin repaired to Gnita- 
heath. Here Sigurd dug a ditch in Fafner's path 
and sat down in it ; so when Fafner crept to the 
water and came directly over this ditch, Sigurd 
pierced him with the sword, and this thrust caused 
his death. Then Regin came and declared that 
Sigurd had slain his brother, and demanded of 
him as a ransom that he should cut out Fafner's 
heart and roast it on the fire ; but Regin kneeled 
down, drank Fafner's blood, and laid himself 
down to sleep. While Sigurd was roasting the 
heart, and thought that it must be done, he 
touched it with his finger to see how tender it 
was ; but the fat oozed out of the heart and onto 
his finger and burnt it, so that he thrust his finger 
into his mouth. The heart-blood came in contact 
with his tongue, which made him comprehend the 
speech of birds, and he understood what the 
eagles said that were sitting in the trees. One 
of the birds said : 

There sits Sigurd, 
Stained with blood. 
On the fire is roasting 
Fafner's heart. 
Wise seemed to me 
The ring- destroyer, 
If he the shining 
Heart would eat. 

Another eagle sang : 

There lies Regin, 


How to deceive the man 
Who trusts him; 
Thinks in his wrath 
Of false accusations. 
The evil smith plots 
Revenge 'gainst the brother.* 

Then Sigurd went to Regin and slew him, and 
thereupon he mounted his horse hight Grane, and 
rode until he came to Fafner's bed, took out all 
the gold, packed it in two bags and laid it on 
Grane's back, then got on himself and rode away. 
Now is told the saga according to which gold is 
called Fafner's bed or lair, the metal of Gnita- 
heath, or Grane's burden. 

Then Sigurd rode on until he found a house on 
the mountain. In it slept a woman clad in hel- 
met and coat-of-mail. He drew his sword and 
cut the coat-ofmail off from her. Then she 
awaked and called herself Hild. Her name was 
Brynhild, and she was a valkyrie. Thence Sigurd 
rode on and came to the king whose name was 
Gjuke. His wife was called Grimhild, and their 
children were Gunnar, Hogne, Gudrun, Gudny; 
Gothorm was Gjuke's step-son. Here Sigurd re- 
mained a long time. Then he got the hand of 
Gudrun, Gjuke's daughter, and Gunnar and 
Hogne entered into a sworn brotherhood with 
Sigurd. Afterward Sigurd and the sons of Gjuke 
went to Atle, Budle's son, to ask for his sister, 

* Elder Edda: the Lay of Fafner, 33, 33. 


Brynhild, for Gunnar's wife. She sat on Hind- 
fell, and her hall was surrounded by the bicker- 
ing flame called the Vafurloge, and she had made 
a solemn promise not to wed any other man than 
him who dared to ride through the bickering 
flame. Then Sigurd and the Gjukungs (they are 
also called Niflungs) rode upon the mountain, and 
there Gunnar was to ride through the Vafurloge. 
He had the horse that was called Gote, but this 
horse did not dare to run into the flame. So 
Sigurd and Gunnar changed form and weapons, 
for Grane would not take a step under any other 
man than Sigurd. Then Sigurd mounted Grane 
and rode through the bickering flame. That same 
evening he held a wedding with Brynhild ; but 
when they went to bed he drew his sword Gram 
from the sheath and placed it between them. In 
the morning when he had arisen, and had donned 
his clothes, he gave to Brynhild, as a bridal gift, 
the gold ring that Loke had taken from Andvare, 
and he received another ring as a memento from 
her. Then Sigurd mounted his horse and rode to 
his companions. He and Gunnar exchanged forms 
again and went back to Gjuke with Brynhild. 
Sigurd had two children with Gudrun. Their 
names were Sigmund and Swanhild. 

Once it happened that Brynhild and Gudrun 
went to the water to wash their hair. When 
they came to the river Brynhild waded fi'om the 


river bank into the stream, and said that she 
could not bear to have that vrater in her hair that 
ran from Gudrun's hair, for she had a more high- 
minded husband. Then Gudrun followed her 
into the stream, and said that she was entitled 
to wash her hair farther up the stream than 
Brynhild, for the reason that she had the hus- 
band who was bolder than Gunnar, or any other 
man in the world ; for it was he who slew Fafner 
and Eegin, and inherited the wealth of both. 
Then answered Brynhild : A greater deed it was 
that Gunnar rode through the Vafurloge, which 
Sigurd did not dare to do. Then laughed Gud- 
run and said: Do you think it was Gunnar 
who rode through the bickering flame ? Then I 
think you shared the bed with him who gave me 
this gold ring. The gold ring which you have 
on your finger, and which you received as a 
bridal-gift, is called Andvaranaut (Andvare's 
Gift), and I do not think Gunnar got it on Gnita- 
heath. Then Brynhild became silent and went 
home. Thereupon she egged Gunnar and Hogne 
to kill Sigurd ; but being sworn brothers of 
Sigurd, they egged Guthorm, their brother, to 
slay Sigurd. Guthorm pierced him with his 
sword while he was sleeping; but as soon as 
Sigurd was wounded he threw his sword, Gram, 
after Guthorm, so that it cut him in twain 
through the middle. There Sigurd fell, and his 


son, three winters old, by name Sigmund, whom 
they also killed. Then Brynhild pierced herself 
with the sword and was cremated with Sigurd. 
But Gunnar and Hogne inherited Fafner's gold 
and the Gift of Andvare, and now ruled the 

King Atle, Budle's son, Brynhild's brother, then 
got in marriage Gudrun, who had been Sigurd's 
wife, and they had children. King Atle invited 
Gunnar and Hogne to visit him, and they accept- 
ed his invitation. But before they started on 
their journey they concealed Fafner's hoard in 
the Bhine, and that gold has never since been 
found. King Atle had gathered together an 
army and fought a battle with Gunnar and 
Hogne, and they were captured. Atle had the 
heart cut out of Hogne alive. This was his 
death. Gunnar he threw into a den of snakes, 
but a harp was secretly brought to him, and he 
played the harp with his toes (for his hands were 
fettered), so that all the snakes fell asleep except- 
ing the adder, which rushed at him and bit him 
in the breast, and then thrust its head into the 
wound and clung to his liver until he died. Gun- 
nar and Hogne are called Niflungs (Niblungs) 
and Gjukungs. Hence gold is called the Niflung 
treasure or inheritance. A little later Gudrun 
slew her two sons and made from their skulls 
goblets trimmed with gold, and thereupon the 


funeral ceremonies took place. At the feast, Gud- 
run poured for King Atle in these goblets mead 
that was mixed with the blood of the youths. 
Their hearts she roasted and gave to the king 
to eat. When this was done she told him all 
about it, with many unkind words. There was 
no lack of strong mead, so that the most of the 
people sitting there fell asleep. On that night 
she went to the king when he had fallen asleep, 
and had with her her son Hogne. They slew 
him, and thus he ended his life. Then they set 
fire to the hall, and with it all the people who 
were in it were burned. Then she went to the sea 
and sprang into the water to drown herself; but 
she was carried across the fjord, and came to the 
land which belono;ed to Kins: Jonaker. When 
he saw her he took her home and made her his 
wife. They had three children, whose names 
were Sorle, Hamder and Erp. They all had hair 
as black as ravens, like Gunnar and Hogne and 
the other Niflungs. 

There was fostered Swanhild, the daughter of 
Sigurd, and she was the fairest of all women. 
That Jormunrek, the rich, found out. He sent 
his son, Eandver, to ask for her hand for him; 
and when he came to Jonaker, Swanhild was 
delivered to him, so that he might bring her to 
King Jormunrek. Then said Bikke that it would 
be more fitting that Kandver should marry Swan- 


hild, he being young and she too, but Jormun- 
rek being old. This plan pleased the two young 
people well. Soon afterward Bikke informed the 
king of it, and so King Jormunrek seized his son 
and had him brought to the gallows. Then 
Randver took his hawk, plucked the feathers off 
him, and requested that it should be sent to his 
father, whereupon he w^as hanged. But when 
King Jormunrek saw the hawk, it came to his 
mind that as the hawk was flightless and feather- 
less, so his kingdom was without preservation ; for 
he was old and sonless. Then King Jormunrek 
riding out of the woods from the chase with his 
courtiers, while Queen Swanhild sat dressing her 
hair, had the courtiers ride onto her, and she was 
trampled to death beneath the feet of the horses. 
When Gudrun heard of this, she begged her sons 
to avenge Swanhild. While they were busking 
themselves for the journey, she brought them 
byrnies and helmets, so strong that iron could not 
scathe them. She laid the plan for them, that 
when they came to King Jormunrek, they should 
attack him in the night whilst he was sleeping. 
Sorle and Hamder should cut off his hands and 
feet, and Erp his head. On the way they asked 
Erp what assistance they were to get from him, 
when they came to King Jormunrek. He an- 
swered them that he Avould give them such as- 
sistance as the hand gives the foot. They said 


that the feet got no support from the hands 
whatsoever. They were angry at their mother, 
because she had forced them to undertake this 
journey with harsh words, and hence they were 
going to do that which would displease her most. 
So they killed Erp, for she loved him the most. 
A little later, while Sorle was walking, he slipped 
with one foot, and in falling supported himself 
with his hands. Then said he : Now the hands 
helped the foot ; better were it now if Erp were 
living. When they came to Jormunrek, the king, 
in the night, while he was sleeping, they cut off 
both his hands and his feet. Then he awaked, 
called his men and bade them arise. Said Ham- 
der then: The head would now have been off 
had Erp lived. The courtiers got up, attacked 
them, but could not overcome them with weapons. 
Then Jormunrek cried to them that they should 
stone them to death. This was done, Sorle and 
Hamder fell, and thus perished the last descend- 
ants of Gjuke. 

After King Sigurd lived a daughter hight 
Aslaug, who was fostered at Heimer's in Hlym- 
daler. From her mighty races are descended. 
It is said that Sigmund, the son of Volsung, was 
so powerful, that he drank venom and received 
no harm therefrom. But Sinfjotle, his son, and 
Sigurd, were so hard-skinned that no venom com- 


ing onto them could harm them. Therefore the 
skald Brage has sung as follows : 

When the tortuous serpent, 

Full of the drink of the Volsungs,* 

Hung in coils 

On the bait of the giant- slay er.f 

Upon these sagas very many skalds have made 
lays, and from them they have taken various 
themes. Brage the Old made the following song 
about the fall of Sorle and Hamder in the drapa, 
which he composed about Ragnar Lodbrok : 

Jormunrek once, 

In an evil dream, waked 

In that sword- contest 

Against the blood-stained kings. 

A clashing of arms was heard 

In the house of Randver's father, 

When the raven-blue brothers of Erp 

The insult avenged. 

Sword-dew flowed 

OS the bed on the floor. 

Bloody hands and feet of the king 

One saw cut off. 

On his head fell Jormunrek, 

Frothing in blood. 

On the shield 

This is painted. 

The king saw 

Men so stand 

That a ring they made 

'Round his house. 

* The drink of the Volsungs = venom ; the tortuous venom- 
eerpent = the Midgard-serpent. 


Sorle and Harader 

Were both at once, 

With sHppery stones, 

Struck to the ground. 

King Jormunrek 

Ordered Gjuke's descendants 

Violently to be stoned 

When they came to take the life 

Of Swanhild's husband. 

All sought to pay 

Jonaker's sons 

With blows and wounds. 

This fall of men 

And sagas many 

On the fair shield I see. 

Ragnar gave me the shield. 


Why is gold called Frode's meal ? The saga 
giving rise to this is the following : 

Odin had a son by name Skjold, from whom 
the Skjoldungs are descended. He had his throne 
and ruled in the lands that are now called Den- 
mark, but were then called Gotland. Skjold had 
a son by name Fridleif, who ruled the lands 
after him. Fridleif 's son was Frode. He took 
the kingdom after his father, at the time when 
the Emperor Augustus established peace in all 
the earth and Christ was born. But Frode being 
the mightiest king in the northlands, this peace 
was attributed to him by all who spake the 
Danish tongue, and the Norsemen called it the 


peace of Frode. No man injured the other, even 
though he might meet, loose or in chains, his 
father's or brother's bane. There was no thief 
or robber, so that a gold ring would be a long 
time on Jalanger's heath. King Frode sent mes- 
sengers to Svithjod, to the king whose name was 
Fjolner, and bought there two maid-servants, 
whose names were Fenja and Menja. They were 
large and strong. About this time were found 
in Denmark two mill-stones, so large that no one 
had the strength to turn them. But the nature 
belonged to these mill-stones that they ground 
whatever was demanded of them by the miller. 
The name of this mill was Grotte. But the man 
to whom King Frode gave the mill was called 
Hengekjapt. King Frode had the maid-servants 
led to the mill, and requested them to grind for 
him gold and peace, and Frode's happiness. Then 
he gave them no longer time to rest or sleep 
than while the cuckoo was silent or while they 
sang a song. It is said that they sang the song 
called the Grottesong, and before they ended it 
they ground out a host against Frode; so that 
on the same night there came the sea-king, whose 
name was My sing, and slew Frode and took a 
large amount of booty. Therewith the Frode- 
peace ended. Mysing took with him Grotte, and 
also Fenja and Menja, and bade them grind salt, 
and in the middle of the night they asked Mysing 


whether he did not have salt enough. He bade 
them grind more. They ground only a short 
time longer before the ship sank. But in the 
ocean arose a whirlpool (Maelstrom, mill-stream) 
in the place where the sea runs into the mill-eye. 
Thus the sea became salt. 


Now are come 
To the house of the king 
The prescient two, 
Fenja and Menja. 
There must the mighty 
Maidens toil 
For King Erode, 
Fridleif 8 son. 

Brought to the mill 

Soon they were; 

The gray stones 

They had to turn. 

Nor rest nor peace 

He gave to them: 

He would hear the maidens 

Turn the mill. 

They turned the mill. 
The prattling stones 
The mill ever rattling. 
What a noise it made! 
Lay the planks! 
Lift the stones! * 

* These words are spoken by the maidens while they put the mill 


But he* bade the maids 
Yet more to grind. 

They sang and swung 
The swift mill-stone, 
So that Frode's folk 
Fell asleep. 
Then, when she came 
To the mill to grind, 
With a hard heart 
And with loud voice 
Did Menja sing: 

We grind for Frode 
Wealth and happiness, 
And gold abundant 
On the mill of luck. 
Dance on roses! 
Sleep on down! 
Wake when you please! 
That is well ground. 

Here shall no one 
Hurt the other. 
Nor in ambush lie, 
Nor seek to kill; 
Nor shall any one 
With sharp sword hew, 
Though bound he should find 
His brother's bane. 

They stood in the hall, 
Their hands were resting; 
Then was it the first 
Word that he spoke: 
Sleep not longer 
Than the cuckoo on the hall, 
Or only while 
A song I sing: 

* Frode. 


Frode! you were not 
Wary enough, — 
You friend of men, — 
When maids you bought! 
, At their strength you looked, 
And at their fair faces, 
But you asked no questions 
About their descent. 

Hard was Hrungner 

And his father; 

Yet was Thjasse 

Stronger than they. 

And Ide and Orner, 

Our friends, and 

The mountain-giants' brothers, 

Who fostered us two. 

Not would Grotte have come 

From the mountain gray, 

Nor this hard stone 

Out from the earth; 

The maids of the mountain-giants 

Would not thus be grinding 

If we two knew 

Nothing of the mill. 

Through winters nine 
Our strength increased, 
While below the sod 
We played together. 
Great deeds were the maids 
Able to perform; 
Mountains they 
From their places moved. 

The stone we rolled 
From the giants' dwelling, 
So that all the earth 
Did rock and quake. 


So we hurled 
The rattling stone, 
The heavy block, 
That men caught it. 

In Svithjod's land 
Afterward we 
Fire- wise women. 
Fared to the battle, 
Byrnies we burst. 
Shields we cleaved, 
Made our way 
Through gray-clad hosts. 

One chief we slew. 
Another we aided, — 
To Guthorni the Good 
Help we gave. 
Ere Knue had fallen 
Nor rest we got. 
Then bound we were 
And taken prisoners. 

Such were our deeds 
In former days, 
That we heroes brave 
Were thought to be. 
With spears sharp 
Heroes we pierced, 
So the gore did run 
And our swords grew red. 

Now we are come 

To the house of the king, 

No one us pities. 

Bond-women are we. 

Dirt eats our feet. 

Our limbs are cold, 

The peace-giver* we turn. 

Hard it is at Frode's. 

* The mill. 


The hands shall stop, 
The stone shall stand; 
Now have I ground 
For my part enough. 
Yet to the hands 
No rest must be given, 
'Till Frode thinks 
Enough has been ground. 

Now hold shall the hands 

The lances hard, 

The weapons bloody, — 

Wake now, Frode! 

Wake now, Frode! 

If you would listen 

To our songs, — 

To sayings old. 

Fire I see burn 
East of the burg,— 
The warnews are awake. 
That is called warning. 
A host hither 
Hastily approaches 
To burn the king's 
Lofty dwelling 

No longer you will sit 
On the throne of Hleidra 
And rule o'er red 
Rings and the mill. 
Now must we grind 
With all our might, 
No warmth will we get 
From the blood of the slain. 

Now my father's daughter 
Bravely turns the mill. 
The death of many 
Men she sees. 


Now broke the large 
Braces 'neath the mill, — 
The iron-bound braces. 
Let us yet grind! 

Let us yet grind! 
Yrsa's son 

Shall on Frode revenge 
Halfdan's death. 
He shall Yrsa's 
Ofifspring be named, 
And yet Yrsa's brother. 
Both of us know it. 

The mill turned the maidens, — 
Their might they tested; 
Young they were, 
And giantesses wild. 
The braces trembled. 
Then fell the mill,— 
In twain was broken 
The heavy stone. 

All the old world 

Shook and trembled, 

But the giant's maid 

Speedily said: 

We have turned the mill, Frode! 

Now we may stop. 

By the mill long enough 

The maidens have stood. 



A king in Denmark hight Rolf Krake, and 
was the most famous of all kings of olden times ; 
moreover, he was more mild, brave and conde- 
scending than all other men. A proof of his con- 
descension, which is very often spoken of in olden 
stories, was the following: There was a poor 
little fellow by name Vog. He once came into 
King Rolfs hall while the king was yet a young 
man, and of rather delicate growth. Then Vog 
went before him and looked up at him. Then 
said the king: What do you mean to say, my 
fellow, by looking so at me? Answered Vog: 
When I was at home I heard people say that 
King Rolf, at Hleidra, was the greatest man in 
the northlands, but now sits here in the high-seat 
a little crow (krake), and it they call theii' king. 
Then made answer the king: You, my fellow, 
have given me a name, and I shall henceforth be 
called Rolf Krake, but it is customary that a gift 
accompanies the name. Seeing that you have no 
gift that you can give me with the name, or that 
would be suitable to me, then he who has must 
give to the other. Then he took a gold ring off 
his hand and gave it to the churl. Then said 
Vog : You give as the best king of all, and there- 
fore I now pledge myself to become the bane of 


him who becomes your bane. Said tbe king, 
laughing : A small thing makes Vog happy. 

Another example is told of E,olf Krake's brav- 
ery. In Upsala reigned a king by name Adils, 
whose wife was Yrsa, Rolf Krake's mother. He 
was engaged in a war with Norway's king, Ale. 
They fought a battle on the ice of the lake called 
Wenern. King Adils sent a message to Rolf 
Krake, his stepson, asking him to come and help 
him, and promising to furnish pay for his whole 
army during the campaign. Furthermore King 
Rolf himself should have any three treasures that 
he might choose in Sweden. But Rolf Krake 
could not go to his assistance, on account of the 
war which he was then waging against the 
Saxons. Still he sent twelve berserks to King 
Adils. Among them were Bodvar Bjarke, Hjalte 
the Valiant, Hvitserk the Keen, Vot, Vidsete, and 
the brothers Svipday and Beigud. In that war 
fell King Ale and a large part of his army. Then 
King Adils took from the dead King Ale the 
helmet called Hildesvin, and his horse called 
Rafn. Then the berserks each demanded three 
pounds of gold in pay for their service, and also 
asked for the treasures which they had chosen 
for Rolf Krake, and which they now desired to 
bring to him. These were the helmet Hildegolt ; 
the byrnie Finnsleif, which no steel could scathe ; 
and the gold ring called Sviagris, which had 


belonged to Adils' forefathers. But the king 
refused to surrender any of these treasures, nor 
did he give the berserks any pay. The berserks 
then returned home, and were much dissatisfied. 
They reported all to King Rolf, who straightway 
busked himself to fare against Upsala ; and when 
he came with his ships into the river Fyre, he 
rode against Upsala, and with him his twelve 
berserks, all peaceless. Yrsa, his mother, received 
him and took him to his lodgings, but not to the 
king's hall. Large fires were kindled for them, 
and ale was brought them to drink. Then came 
King Adils' men in and bore fuel onto the fire- 
place, and made a fire so great that it burnt the 
clothes of Rolf and his berserks, saying: Is it 
true that neither fire nor steel will put Rolf 
Krake and his berserks to flight? Then Rolf 
Krake and all his men sprang up, and he said : 

Let us increase the blaze 
In Adils' chambers. 

He took his shield and cast it into the fire, and 
sprang over the fire while the shield was burn- 
ing, and cried : 

From the fire flees not he 
Who over it leaps. 

The same did also his men, one after the other, 
and then they took those who had put fuel on 
the fire and cast them into it. Now Yrsa came 


and handed Rolf Krake a deer's horn full of 
gold, and with it she gave him the ring Sviagris, 
and requested them to ride straightway to their 
army. They sprang upon their horses and rode 
away over the Fyrisvold. Then they saw that 
King Adils was riding after them with his whole 
army, all armed, and was going to slay them. 
Rolf Krake took gold out of the horn with his 
right hand, and scattered it over the whole way. 
But when the Swedes saw it they leaped out of 
their saddles, and each one took as much as he 
could. King Adils bade them ride, and he him- 
self rode on with all his might. The name of 
his horse was Slungner, the fastest of all horses. 
When Rolf Krake saw that King Adils was 
riding near him, he took the ring Sviagris and 
threw it to him, asking him to take it as a gift. 
King Adils rode to the ring, picked it up with 
the end of his spear, and let it slide down to his 
hand. Then Rolf Krake turned round and saw 
that the other was stooping. Said he: Like a 
swine I have now bended the foremost of all 
Swedes. Thus they parted. Hence gold is called 
the seed of Krake or of Fyrisvold. 



A king by name Hogne had a daughter by 
name Hild. Her a king, by name Hedin, son 
of Hjarrande, made a prisoner of war, while 
King Hogne had fared to the trysting of the 
kings. But when he learned that thei'e had been 
harrying in his kingdom, and that his daughter 
had been taken away, he rode with his army in 
search of Hedin, and learned that he had sailed 
northward along the coast. When King Hogne 
came to Norway, he found out that Hedin had 
sailed westward into the sea. Then Hogne sailed 
after him to the Orkneys. And when he came 
to the island called Ha, then Hedin was there 
before him with his host. Then Hild went to 
meet her father, and offered him as a reconcilia- 
tion from Hedin a necklace ; but if he was not 
willing to accept this, she said that Hedin was 
prepared for a battle, and Hogne might expect 
no clemency from him. Hogne answered his 
daughter harshly. When she returned to Hedin, 
she told him that Hogne would not be reconciled, 
and bade him busk himself for the battle. And so 
both parties did ; they landed on the island and 
marshaled their hosts. Then Hedin called to 
Hogne, his father-in-law, offering him a reconcilia- 
tion and much gold as a ransom. Hogne an- 


swered: Too late do you offer to make peace 
witli me, for now I have drawn the sword Dains- 
leif, which was smithied by the dwarfs, and must 
be the death of a man whenever it is drawn ; its 
blows never miss the mark, and the wounds 
made by it never heal. Said Hedin : You boast 
the sword, but not the victory. That I call a 
good sword that is always faithful to its master 
Then they began the hattle which is called the 
Hjadninga-vig (the slaying of the Hedimans) ; 
they fought the whole day, and in the evening 
the kings fared back to their ships. But in the 
night Hild went to the battlefield, and waked 
up with sorcery all the dead that had fallen. 
The next day the kings went to the battlefield 
and fought, and so did also all they who had 
fallen the day before. Thus the battle continued 
from day to day ; and all they who fell, and all 
the swords that lay on the fielS of battle, and 
all the shields, became stone. But as soon as 
day dawned all the dead arose again and fought, 
and all the weapons became new again, and in 
songs it is said that the Hjadnings will so con- 
tinue until Bagnarok. 



The Enea mentioned in the Foreword to Gylfe's 
Fooling refers to the settlement of western Europe, 
where JEneas is said to have founded a city on the 
Tiber. Bergmann, however, in his Fascination de 
Gulfi, page 28, refers it to the Thracian town Ainos. 


Herikon is undoubtedly a mutilated form for Erich- 
thonios. The genealogy here given corresponds with 
the one given in the Iliad, Book 20, 215. 


The historical or anthropomorphized Odin, de- 
scribed in the Foreword to the Fooling of Gylfe, be- 
comes interesting when we compare it with Snorre's 
account of that hero in Heimskringla, and then com- 
pare both accounts with the Roman traditions about 
^neas. Of course the whole story is only a myth; 
but we should remember that in the minds and hearts 
of our ancestors it served every purpose of genuine 
history. Our fathers accepted it in as good faith as 
any christian ever believed in the gospel of Christ, 
and so it had a similar influence in moulding the 
social, religious, political and literary life of our an- 
cestors. "We become interested in this legend as 



much as if it were genuine history, on account of the 
influence it wielded upon the minds and hearts of a 
race destined to act so great a part in the social, 
religious and political drama of Europe. We look 
into this and other ancestral myths, and see mirrored 
in them all that we afterward find to be reliable 
history of the old Teutons. In the same manner we 
are interested in the story told about Komulus and 
Eemus, about Mars and the wolf. This Roman myth 
is equally prophetic in reference to the future career 
of Rome. The warlike Mars, the rapacity of the 
wolf, and the fratricide Romulus, form a mirror in 
which we see reflected the whole historical develop- 
ment of the Romans ; so that the story of Romulus 
is a vest-pocket edition of the history of Rome. 

There are many points of resemblance between 
this old story of Odin and the account that Yirgil 
gives us of ^neas, the founder of the Latin race ; and 
it is believed that, while Virgil imitated Homer, he 
based his poem upon a legend current among his 
countrymen. The Greeks in Virgil's poem are Pom- 
pey and the Romans in our Teutonic story. The 
Trojans correspond to Mithridates and his allies, 
^neas and Odin are identical. Just as Odin, a heroic 
defender of Mithridates, after traversing various un- 
known countries, finally reaches the north of Europe, 
organizes the various Teutonic kingdoms, settles his 
sons upon the thrones of Germany, England, Den- 
mark, Sweden and Norway, and instructs his people 
to gather strength and courage, so as eventually to 
take revenge on the cursed Romans ; so ^neas, 
one of the most valiant defenders of Troy, after many 
adventures in various lands, at length settles in Italy, 

NOTES. 223 

and becomes the founder of a race that in course of 
time is to wreak vengeance upon the Greeks. The 
prophecy contained in the Roman legend was fulfilled 
by Metellus and Mummius, in the years 147 and 146 
before Christ, when the Romans became the con- 
querors of Greece. The prophecy contained in our 
Teutonic legend foreshadowed with no less unrelent- 
ing necessity the downfall of proud Rome, when the 
Teutonic commander Odoacer, in the year 476 after 
Christ, dethroned, not Romulus, brother of Remus, 
but Romulus Augustulus, son of Orestes. Thus history 
repeats itself. Roman history begins and ends with 
Romulus ; and we fancy we can see some connection 
between Od-in and Od-oacer. ''As the twig is bent 
the tree is inclined." 

It might be interesting to institute a similar com- 
parison between our Teutonic race-founder Odin and 
Ulysses, king of Ithaca, but the reader will have to 
do this for himself. 

In one respect our heroes dififer. The fall of Troy 
and the wanderings of Ulysses became the theme of 
two great epic poems among the Greeks. The wan- 
derings and adventures of ^neas, son of Anchises, 
were fashioned into a lordly epic by Yirgil for the Ro- 
mans. But the much-traveled man, the V/vtj/? r.oXo^por.oq^ 
the weapons and the hero, Odin, who, driven by the 
norns, first came to Teutondom and to the Baltic 
shores, has not yet been sung. This wonderful expe- 
dition of our race-founder, which, by giving a historic 
cause to all the later hostilities and conflicts between 
the Teutons and the Romans, might, as suggested by 
Gibbon, supply the noble ground-work of an epic 
poem as thrilling as the ^neid of Yirgil, has not yet 


been woven into a song for our race, and we give our 
readers this full account of Odin from the Heims- 
kringla in connection with the Foreword to Gjlfe's 
Fooling, with the hope that among our readers there 
may be found some descendant of Odin, whose skaldic 
wings are but just fledged for the flights he hopes to 
take, who will take a draught, first from Mimer's 
gushing fountain, then from Suttung's mead, brought 
by Odin to Asgard, and consecrate himself and his 
talents to this legend with all the ardor of his soul. 
For, as "William Morris so beautifully says of the Vol- 
sung Saga, this is the great story of the Teutonic race, 
and should be to us what the tale of Troy was to the 
Greeks, and what the tale of JEneas was to the Eo- 
mans, to all our race first and afterward, when the 
evolution of the world has made the Teutonic race 
nothing more than a name of what it has been ; a 
story, too, then, should it be to the races that come 
after us, no less than the Iliad, and the Odyssey and 
the ^neid have been to us.'^ We sincerely trust that 
we shall see Odin wrought into a Teutonic epic, that 
will present in grand outline the contrast between 
the Eoman and the Teuton. And now we are pre- 
pared to give the Pleimskringla account of the his- 
torical Odin. We have adopted Samuel Laing's 
translation, with a few verbal alterations where such 
seemed necessary. 

It is said that the earth's circle (Heimskringla), 
which the human race inhabits, is torn across into 
many bights, so that great seas run into the land 
from the out-ocean. Thus it is known that a great 

* Quoted from memory. 

NOTES. 225 

sea goes into Njorvasound,* and up to the land of 
Jerusalem. From the same sea a long sea-bight 
stretches toward the northeast, and is called the Black 
Sea, and divides the three parts of the earth ; of which 
the eastern part is called Asia, and the western is called 
by some Europe, by some Enea.f Northward of the 
Black Sea lies Svithjod the Great, $ or the Cold. The 
Great Svithjod is reckoned by some not less than the 
Saracens' land,§ others compare it to the Great Blue- 
land. II The northern part of Svithjod lies uninhabited 
on account of frost and cold, as likewise the southern 
parts of Blueland are waste from the burning sun. 
In Svithjod are many great domains, and many won- 
derful races of men, and many kinds of languages. 
There are giants, Tf and there are dwarfs, '^^ and there 
are also blue men.-ff There are wild beasts and dread- 
fully large dragons. On the north side of the mount- 
ains, which lie outside of all inhabited lands, runs a 
river through Svithjod, which is properly called by 
the name of Tanais, :!::}: but was formerly called Tana- 
quisl or Yanaquisl, and which falls into the ocean at 

* Njorvasound, the Straits of Gibraltar; so called from the first 
Norseman who sailed through them. His name was Njorve. See 
Ann. for nordisk Oidkyndighed, Vol. I, p. 58, 

t See note, page 221. 

i Svithjod the Great, or the Cold, is the ancient Sarmatia and 
Scythia Magna, and formed the great part of the present European 
Russia. In the mythological sagas it is also called Godheim; that 
is, the home of Odin and the other gods. Svithjod the Less is 
Sweden proper, and is called Mannheim; that is, the home of the 
kings, the descendants of the gods. 

§ The Saracens' land (Serkland) means North Africa and Spain, 
and the Saracen countries in Asia; that is, Persia, Assyria, etc. 

II Blueland, the country of the blacks in Africa, the country south 
of Serkland, the modern Ethiopia. 

H Tartareans. ** Kalmuks. ff Mongohans. 

Xt The Tanais is the present Don river, which empties into the 
Sea of Asov. 


the Black Sea. The country of the people on the 
Yanaquisl was called Yanaland or Yanaheim, and the 
river separates the three parts of the world, of which 
the easternmost is called Asia and the westernmost 

The country east of the Tanaquisl in Asia was 
called Asaland or Asaheim, and the chief city in that 
land was called Asgard.* In that city was a chief 
called Odin, and it was a great place for sacrifice. 
It was the custom there that twelve temple-priests f 
should both direct the sacrifices and also judge the 
people. They were called priests or masters, and all 
the people served and obeyed them. Odin was a 
great and very far-traveled warrior, who conquered 
many kingdoms, and so successful was he that in 
every battle the victory was on his side. It was the 
belief of his people that victory belonged to him in 
every battle. It was his custom when he sent his 
men into battle, or on any expedition, that he first 
laid his hand upon their heads, and called down a 
blessing upon them ; and then they believed their 
undertaking would be successful. His people also 
were accustomed, whenever they fell into danger by 
land or sea, to call upon his name ; and they thought 

* Asgard is supposed, by those who look for historical fact in 
mythological tales, to be the present Assor; others, that it is Chas- 
gar in the Caucasian ridge, called by Strabo Aspargum the Asburg, 
or castle of the asas. We still have in the Norse tongue the word 
Aas, meaning a ridge of high land. The word asas is not derived 
from Asia, as Snorre supposed. It is the 0. H. Ger. ans; Anglo-Sax. 
OS = a hero. The word also means a pillar; and in this latter sense 
the gods are the pillars of the universe. Connected with the word 
is undoubtedly Aas, a mountain-ridge, as supporter of the skies; and 
this reminds us of Atlas, as bearer of the world. 

t The temple- priests performed the functions of priest and judge, 
and their office continued hereditary throughout the heathen penod 
of Norse history. 

NOTES. 227 

that always they got comfort and aid by it, for where 
he was they thought help was near. Often he went 
away so long that he passed many seasons on his 

Odin had two brothers, the one hight Ye, the other 
Vile,"^^ and they governed the kingdom when he was 
absent. It happened once when Odin had gone to 
a great distance, and had been so long away that the 
people of Asia doubted if he would ever return home, 
that his two brothers took it upon themselves to di- 
vide his estate ; but both of them took his wife Frigg 
to themselves. Odin soon after returned home, and 
took his wife back. 

Odin went out with a great army against the Yana- 
land people ; but they were well prepared, and de- 
fended their land, so that victory was changeable, and 
they ravaged the lands of each other and did great 
damage. They tired of this at last, and, on both sides 
appointing a meeting for establishing peace, made a 
truce and exchanged hostages. The Yanaland people 
sent their best men, — Njord the Rich and his son Frey ; 
the people of Asaland sent a man hight Keener, f as 
he was a stout and very handsome man, and with 
him they sent a man of great understanding, called 
Mimer ; and on the other side the Yanaland people 
sent the wisest man in their community, who was 
called Quaser. 'Now when Hoener came to Yanaheim 
he was immediately made a chief, and Mimer came 
to him with good counsel on all occasions. But when 
Hcener stood in the Things, or other meetings, if 
Mimer was not near him, and any difficult matter was 

* See Norse Mythology, page 174. 
. t See Brage's Talk, p. 160; and Norse Mythology, pp. 247 and 342. 


laid before him, he always answered in one way : 
Now let others give their advice ; so that the Yana- 
land people got a suspicion that the Asaland people 
had deceived them in the exchange of men. They 
took Mimer, therefore, and beheaded him, and sent 
his head to the Asaland people. Odin took the head, 
smeared it with herbs, so that it should not rot, and 
sang incantations over it. Thereby lie gave it the 
power that it spoke to him, and discovered to him 
many secrets.* Odin placed Njord and Frey as priests 
of the sacrifices, and they became deities of the Asa- 
land people. Njord's daughter, Frej^ja, was priestess 
of the sacrifices, and first taught the Asaland people 
the magic art, as it was in use and fashion among the 
Yanaland people. While Njord was with the Yana- 
land people he had taken his own sister in marriage, 
for that was allowed by their law ; and their children 
were Frey and Freyja. But among the Asaland 
people it was forbidden to come together in so near 
relationship, t 

There goes a great mountain barrier from northeast 
to southwest, which divides the Great Svithjod from 
other kingdoms. South of this mountain ridge is not 

* In the Vala's Prophecy of the Elder Edda it is said that Odin 
talks with the head of Mimer before the coming of Ragnarok. See 
Norse Mythology, p. 421. 

t This shows that the vans must have belonged to the mytholog- 
ical system of some older race that, like the ancient Romans (Liber 
and Libera), recognized the propriety of marriage between brothers 
and sisters, at least among their gods. Such marriages were not 
allowed among our Odinic ancestors. Hence we see that when Njord, 
Frey and Freyja were admitted to Asgard, they entered into new mar- 
riage relations. Njord married Skade, Frey married Gerd, and Freyja 
married Oder. Our ancestors were never savages ! 

NOTES. 229 

far to Turkland, where Odin had great possessions.* 
But Odin, having foreknowledge and magic-sight, knew 
that his posterity would come to settle and dwell in 
the northern half of the world. In those times the 
Roman chiefs went wide around the world, subduing 
to themselves all people ; and on this account many 
chiefs fled from their domains.f Odin set his brothers 

* Turkland was usually supposed to mean Moldau and Wallachia. 
Some, who regard the great mountain barrier as being the Ural 
Mountains, think Turkland is Turkistan in Asia. Asia Minor is 
also frequently styled Turkland. 

t Ancient Norse writers connect this event with Mithridates and 
Pompey the Great. They tell how Odin was a heroic prince who, 
with his twelve peers or apostles, dwelt in the Black Sea region. 
He became straightened for room, and so led the asas out of Asia 
into eastern Europe. Then they go on to tell how the Roman empire 
had arrived at its highest point of power, and saw all the then 
known world — the orbis terrarum — subject to its laws, when an 
unforeseen event raised up enemies against it from the very heart of 
the forests of Scythia, and on the banks of the Don river. The 
leader was Mithridates the Great, against whom the Romans waged 
three wars, and the Romans looked upon him as the most formid- 
able enemy the empire had ever had to contend with. Cicero delivered 
his famous oration, Pro lege Manilla, and succeeded in getting Pom- 
pey appointed commander of the third war against Mithridates. 
The latter, by flying, had drawn Pompey after him into the wilds of 
Scythia. Here the king of Pontus sought refuse and new means of 
vengeance. He hoped to arm against the ambition of Rome all his 
neighboring nations whose liberties she threatened. He was suc- 
cessful at first, but all those Scythian peoples, ill-united as allies, 
ill-armed as soldiers, and still worse disciplined, were at length 
forced to yield to the genius of the great general Pompey. And here 
traditions tell us that Odin and the other asas were among the allies 
of Mithridates. Odin had been one of the gallant defenders of Troy, 
and at the same time, with iEneas and Anchises, he had taken flight 
out of the burning and falling city. Now he was obliged to withdraw 
a second time by flight, but this time it was not from the Greeks, 
but from the Romans, whom he had offended by assisting Mith- 
ridates. He was now compelled to go and seek, in lands unknown 
to his enemies, that safety which he could no longer find in the 
Scythian forests. He then proceeded to the north of Europe, and 
laid the foundations of the Teutonic nations. As fast as he sub- 
dued the countries in the west and north of Europe he gave them 
to one or another of his sons to govern. Thus it comes to pass that 
so many sovereign families throughout Teutondom are said to be 
descended from Odin. Hengist and Horsa, the chiefs of those Saxons 


Vile and Ye over Asgard, and he himself, with all 
the gods and a great many other people, wandered 
out, first westward to Gardarike (Russia), and then 
south to Saxland (Germany). He had many sons, and 

who conquered Britain in the fifth century, counted Odin in the 
number of their ancestors. The traditions go on to tell how he 
conquered Denmark, founded Odinse (Odinsve = Odin's Sanctuary; 
comp. ve with the German Wei in Weinacht), and gave the kingdom 
to his son Skjold (shield); how he conquered Sweden, founded the 
Sigtuna temple, and gave the country to his son Yngve; how finally 
Norway had to submit to him, and be ruled by a third son of Odin, 

It has been seriously contended,— and it would form an important 
element in an epic based on the historical Odin, — that a desire of 
being revenged on the Romans was one of the ruling principles of 
Odin's whole conduct. Driven by those foes of universal liberty from 
his former home in the east, his resentment was the more violent, 
since the Teutons thought it a sacred duty to revenge all injuries, 
especially those offered to kinsmen or country. Odin had no other 
view in traversing so many distant lands, and in establishing with 
so much zeal his doctrines of valor, than to arouse all Teutonic 
nations, and unite them against so formidable and odious a race as 
the Romans. And we, who live in the light of the nineteenth 
century, and with the records before us, can read the history of the 
convulsions of Europe during the decline of the Roman empire; we 
can understand how that leaven, which Odin left in the bosoms of 
the believers in the asa- faith, first fermented a long time in secret; 
but we can also see how in the fullness of time, the signal given, the 
descendants of Odin fell like a swarm of locusts upon this unhappy 
empire, and, after giving it many terrible shocks, eventually over- 
turned it, thus completely avenging the insult offered so many 
centuries before by Pompey to their founder Odin. We can under- 
stand how it became possible for " those vast multitudes, which the 
populous north poured from her frozen loins, to pass the Rhine and 
the Danube, and come like a deluge on the south, and spread be- 
neath Gibraltar and the Libyan sands;" how it were possible, we 
say, for them so largely to remodel and invigorate a considerable 
part of Europe, nay, how they could succeed in overrunning and 
overturning "the rich but rotten, the mighty but marrowless, the 
disciplined but diseased, Roman empire; that gigantic and heart- 
less and merciless usurpation of soulless materialism and abject 
superstition of universal despotism, of systemized and relentless 
plunder, and of depravity deep as hell." In connection with this 
subject we would refer our readers to Mallet's Northern Antiquities, 

S). 79-83, where substantially the same account is given; to Norse 
ythology, pp. 232-236; to George Stephen's Runic Monuments, 
Vol. 1; and to Charles Kingsley's The Roman and the Teuton. 

NOTES. 231 

after having subdued an extensive kingdom in Sax- 
land he set his sons to defend the country. He him- 
self went northward to the sea, and took up his abode 
in an island which is called Odinse (see note below), 
in Funen. Then he sent Gefjun across the sound 
to the north to discover new countries, and she came 
to King Gylfe, who gave her a ploughland. Then 
she went to Jotunheim and bore four sons to a giant, 
and transformed them into a yoke of oxen, and yoked 
them to a plough and broke out the land into the 
ocean, right opposite to Odinse, which was called 
Seeland, where she afterward settled and dwelt.* 
Skjold, a son of Odin, married her, and they dwelt at 
Leidre.f Where the ploughed land was, is a lake or 
sea called Laage.if In the Swedish land the fjords of 
Laage correspond to the nesses of Seeland. Brage 
the old sings thus of it: 

Gefjun glad 

Drew from Gylfe 

The excellent land, 

Denmark's increase, 

So that it reeked 

From the running- beasts. 

Four heads and eight eyes 

Bore the oxen, 

As they went before the wide 

Robbed land of the grassy is]e.§ 

lN"ow when Odin heard that things were in a pros> 
perous condition in the land to the east beside Gylfe, 

* Compare this version of the myth with the one given in the first 
chapter of The Fooling of Gylfe. Many explain the myth to mean 
the breaking through of the Baltic between Sweden and Denmark. 

fLeidre or Leire, at the end of Isefjord, in the county of Lithra- 
borg, is considered the oldest royal seat in Denmark. 

t Laage is a general name for lakes and rivers. It here stands 
for Lake Malar, in Sweden. § The grassy isle is Seeland. 


he went thither, and Gylfe made a peace with him, 
for Gylfe thought he had no strength to oppose the 
people of Asaland. Odin and Gylfe had many tricks 
and enchantments against each other; but the Asa- 
land people had always the superiority. Odin took 
up his residence at the Malar lake, at the place now 
called Sigtun.* There he erected a large temple, 
where there were sacrifices according to the customs 
of the Asaland people. He appropriated to himself 
the whole of that district of country, and called it 
Sigtun. To the temple gods he gave also domains. 
Njord dwelt in ISToatun, Frey in Upsal, Heimdal in 
Himinbjorg, Thor in Thrudvang, Balder in Breida- 
blik ; t to all of them he gave good domains. 

When Odin of Asaland came to the north, and the 
gods with him, he began to exercise and to teach others 
the arts which the people long afterward have practiced. 
Odin was the cleverest of all, and from him all others 
learned their magic arts ; and he knew them first, and 
knew many more than other people. But now, to tell 
why he is held in such high respect, we must mention 
various causes that contributed to it. When sitting 
among his friends his countenance was so beautiful 
and friendly, that the spirits of all were exhilarated 
by it; but when he was in war, he appeared fierce 
and dreadful. This arose from his being able to 

* Sigtun. Sige, Ger. Sieg, (comp. Sigfrid,) means victory, and 
is one of Odin's names; tun means an inclosure, and is the same 
word as our modern English town. Thus Sigtun would, in modem 
English, be called Odinstown; hke our Johnstown, Williamstown, 

t Noatun, Thrudvang, Breidablik and Himinbjorg are purely 
mythological names, and for their significance the reader is referred 
to The Fooling of Gylfe. Snorre follows the lay of Grimner in the 
Elder Edda. 

NOTES. 233 

change his color and form in any way he liked. 
Another cause was, that he conversed so cleverly and 
smoothly, that all who heard were persuaded. He 
spoke everything in rhyme, such as is now composed, 
and which we call skald-craft. He and his temple 
gods were called song-smiths, for from them came 
that art of song into the northern countries. Odin 
could make his enemies in battle blind or deaf, or 
terror-struck, and their weapons so blunt that they 
could no more cut than a willow-twig; on the other 
hand, his men rushed forward without armor, were as 
mad as dogs or wolves, bit their shields, and were 
strong as bears or wild bulls, and killed people at a 
blow, and neither fire nor iron told upon them. These 
were called berserks."^ 

Odin could transform his shape ; his body would 
lie as if dead or asleep, but then he would be in the 
shape of a fish, or worm, or bird, or beast, and be off 

♦Berserk. The etymology of this word has been much con- 
tested. Some, upon the authority of Snorre in the above quoted 
passage, derive it from berr {bare) and serkr (comp. sark, Scotch for 
shirt); but this etymology is inadmissible, because serkr is a sub- 
stantive, not an adjective. Others derive it from berr (Germ. Bar = 
tirsus), which is greatly to be preferred, for in olden ages athletes 
and champions used to wear hides of bears, wolves and reindeer 
(as skins of lions in the south), hence the names Bjalfe, Bjarnhedinn, 
Ulf hedinn (hedinn, pellis), — " pellibus aut parvis rhenonum tegi- 
mentis utuntur." Caesar, Bell. Gall. VI, 22. Even the old poets 
understood the name so, as may be seen in the poem of Hornklofi 
(beginning of the 10th century), a dialogue between a valkyrie and 
a raven, where the valkyrie says at berserkja reiSu vil ek pik spyrja, 
to which the raven replies, Ulfhednar heita, theij are called tvolf 
coats. In battle the berserks were subject to fits of frenzy, called 
berserksgangr {furor bersercicus), when they howled like wild 
beasts, foamed at the mouth, and gnawed the iron rim of their 
shields. During these fits they were, according to a popular belief, 
proof against steel and fire, and made great havoc in the ranks 
of the enemy. But when the fever abated they were weak and 
tame. Vigfusson Cleasby's Icelandic-English Dictionary, sub voce. 


in a twinkling to distant lands upon his own or other 
peoples' business. With words alone he could quench 
fire, still the ocean in tempest, and turn the wind to 
any quarter he pleased. Odin had a ship, which he 
called Skidbladner, "'^ in which he sailed over wide 
seas, and which he could roll up like a cloth. Odin 
carried with him Mimer's head, which told him all 
the news of other countries. Sometimes even he 
called the dead out of the earth, or set himself beside 
the burial-mounds ; whence he was called the ghost- 
sovereign, and the lord of the mounds. He had two 
ravens, f to whom he had taught the speech of man; 
and they flew far and wide through the land, and 
brought him the news. In all such things he was 
preeminently wise. He taught all these arts in runes 
and songs, which are called incantations, and there- 
fore the Asaland people are called incantation-smiths. 
Odin also understood the art in which the greatest 
power is lodged, and which he himself jDracticed, 
namely, what is called magic. By means of this he 
could know beforehand the predestined fate :j: of men, 
or their not yet completed lot, and also bring on the 
death, ill-luck or bad health of people, or take away 
the strength or wit from one person and give it to 
another. But after such witchcraft followed such 

* In the mythology this ship belongs to Frey, having been made 
for him by the dwarfs. 

fHugin and Munin. 

i The old Norse word is orlog, which is plural, (from or = Ger. ur, 
and log, latcs,) and means the primal law, fate, weird, doom; the 
Greek /lolpa. The idea of predestination was a salient feature in the 
Odinic religion. The word orlog, 0. H. G. tirlac, M. H. G. itrlone, 
Dutch orlog, had special reference to a man's fate in war. Hence 
OrlogschifPe in German means a naval fleet. The Danish orlog 
means warfare at sea. 

NOTES. 235 

weakness and anxiety, that it was not tlioiiglit re- 
spectable for men to practice it; and therefore the 
priestesses were brought up in this art. Odin knew 
definitely where all missing cattle were concealed 
under the earth, and understood the songs by which 
the earth, the hills, the stones and mounds were 
opened to him; and he bound those who dwell in 
them by the power of his word, and went in and took 
what he pleased. From these arts he became very 
celebrated. His enemies dreaded him ; his friends 
put their trust in him, and relied on his power and on 
himself. He taught the most of his arts to his priests 
of the sacrifices, and they came nearest to himself in 
all wisdom and witch-knowledge. Many others, how- 
ever, occupied themselves much with it; and from 
that time witchcraft spread far and wide, and con- 
tinued long. People sacrificed to Odin, and the 
twelve chiefs of Asaland, — called them their gods, 
and believed in them long after. From Odin's name 
came the name Audun, which people gave to his sons ; 
and from Thor's name came Thorer, also Thorarinn ; 
and it was also sometimes augmented by other additions, 
as Steinthor, Hafthor, and many kinds of alterations. 
Odin established the same law in his land that had 
been before in Asaland. Thus he established by law 
that all dead men should be burned, and their prop- 
erty laid with them upon the pile, and the ashes be 
cast into the sea or buried in the earth. Thus, said 
he, everyone will come to Yalhal with the riches he 
had with him upon the pile ; and he would also enjoy 
whatever he himself had buried in the earth. For 
men of consequence a mound should be raised to their 
memory, and for all other warriors who had been 


distinguished for manhood, a standing stone ; which 
custom remained long after Odin's time. Toward 
winter there should be a blood-sacrifice for a good 
year, and in the middle of winter for a good crop; 
and the third sacrifice should be in summer, for vic- 
tory in battle. Over all Svithjod"^ the people paid 
Odin a scatt, or tax, — so much on each head ; but he 
had to defend the country from enemy or disturbance, 
and pay the expense of the sacrifice-feasts toward 
winter for a good year. 

Njord took a wife higlit Skade ; but she would not 
live with him, but married afterward Odin, and had 
many sons by him, of whom one was called Saming, 
and of this Ey vind Skaldespiller sings thus : 

To Asasonf Queen Skade bore 
Saming, who dyed his shield in gore, — 
The giant queen of rock and snow 
Who loves to dwell on earth below, 
The iron pine-tree's daughter she, 
Sprung from the rocks that rib the sea, 
To Odin bore full many a son, — 
Heroes of many a battle won. 

To Saming Jarl Hakon the Great reckoned up his 
pedigree.:}: This Svithjod (Sweden) they call Mann- 
heim, but the great Svithjod they call Godheim, and 
of Godheim great wonders and novelties were related. 

Odin died in his bed in Sweden ; and when he was 
near his death he made himself be marked with the 
point of a spear, § and said he was going to Godheim, 

* Svithjod, which here means Sweden, is derived from Odin^s 
name, Svidr and thjod = folk, people. Svithjod thus means Odin's 
people, and the country takes its name from the people. 

t Odin. X Norway was given to Saming by Odin. 

§ He gave himself nine wounds in the form of the head of a spear, 
or Thor's hammer; that is, he marked himself with the sign of the 
cross ^ an ancient heathen custom. 

NOTES. 237 

and would give a welcome there to all his friends, 
and all brave warriors should be dedicated to him ; 
and the Swedes believed that he was gone to the 
ancient Asgard, and would live there eternally. Then 
began the belief in Odin, and the calling upon him. 
The Swedes believed that he often showed himself 
to them before any great battle. To some he gave 
victory, others he invited to himself; and they 
reckoned both of these to be well off in their fate. 
Odin was burnt, and at his pile there was great 
splendor. It was their faith that the higher the 
smoke arose in the air, the higher would he be raised 
whose pile it was ; and the richer he would be the 
more property that was consumed with him. 

Njord of Noatun was then the sole sovereign of 
the Swedes ; and he continued the sacrifices, and was 
called the drot, or sovereign, by the Swedes, and he 
received scatt and gifts from them. In his days were 
peace and plenty, and such good years in all respects 
that the Swedes believed Njord ruled over the growth 
of seasons and the prosperity of the people. In his 
time all the diars, or gods, died, and blood-sacrifices 
were made for them. Njord died on a bed of sick- 
ness, and before he died made himself be marked for 
Odin with the spear-point. The Swedes burned him, 
and all wept over his grave-mound. 

Frey took the kingdom after Njord, and was called 
drot by the Swedes, and they paid taxes to him. He 
was like his father, fortunate in friends and in good 
seasons. Frey built a great temple at Upsala, made 
it his chief seat, and gave it all his taxes, his land and 
goods. Then began the Upsala domains, which have 
remained ever since. Then began in his day the 


Frode-peace ; and then there were good seasons in 
all the land, which the Swedes ascribed to Frey, so 
that he was more worshiped than the other gods, 
as the people became much richer in his days by 
reason of the peace and good seasons. His wife was 
called Gerd, daughter of Gymer, and their son was 
called Fjolner. Frey was called by another name, 
Yngve ; and this name Yngve was considered long 
after in his race as a name of honor, so that his de- 
scendants have since been called Ynglings (^. e. Yngve- 
lings). Frey fell into a sickness, and as his illness 
took the upper hand, his men took the plan of letting 
few approach him. In the meantime they raised a 
great mound, in which they placed a door with three 
holes in it. Now when Frey died they bore him 
secretly into the mound, but told the Swedes he was 
alive, and they kept watch over him for three years. 
They brought all the taxes into the mound, and 
through the one hole they put in the gold, through 
the other the silver, and through the third the copper 
money that was paid. Peace and good seasons con- 

Freyja alone remained of the gods, and she became 
on this account so celebrated that all women of dis- 
tinction were called by her name, whence they now 
have the title Frue (Germ. Frau\ so that every wo- 
man is called frue (that is, mistress) over her prop- 
erty, and the wife is called the house-frue. Freyja 
continued the blood-sacrifices. Freyja had also many 
other names. Her husband was called Oder, and her 
daughters Hnos and Gersame. They were so very 
beautiful that afterward the most precious jewels were 
called by their names. 

NOTES. 239 

When it became known to the Swedes that Frey 
was dead, and yet peace and good seasons continued, 
they believed that it must be so as long as Frey re- 
mained in Sweden, and therefore they would not burn 
his remains, but called him the god of this world, and 
afterward offered continually blood-sacrifices to him, 
principally for peace and good seasons."^" 


In the asa-faith we find various foreign elements 
introduced. Thus, for example, the vans did not 
originally belong to the Odinic system. As the 
Teutons came in contact with other races, the re- 
ligious ideas of the latter were frequently adopted 
in some modified form. Especially do Finnish 
elements enter into the asa-system. The Finnish 
god of thunder was Ukko. He is supposed to have 
been confounded with our Thor, whence the latter 
got the name Oku-Thor (Ukko-Thor). The vans 
may be connected with the Finnish Wainamoinen, 
and in the same manner a number of Celtic elements 
have been mixed with Teutonic mythology. And this 
is not all. There must have flourished a religious 
system in the North before the arrival of Odin and 

* Here ends Snorre's account of the asas in Heimskringla. The 
reader will, of course, compare the account here given of Odin, 
Njord, Frey, Freyja, etc., with the purely mythological description 
of them m the Younger Edda, and with that in Norse Mythology. 
Upon the whole, Snorre has striven to accommodate his sketch to 
the Eddas, while he has had to clothe mythical beings with the 
characteristics of human kings. Like Saxo-Grammaticus, Snorre has 
striven to show that the deities, which we now recognize as personified 
forces and phenomena of nature, were extraordinary and enterprising 
persons, who formerly ruled in the North, and inaugurated the 
customs, government and religion of Norway, Sweden, Denmark, 
Germany, England, and the other Teutonic lands. 


his apostles. This was probably either Tshudic or 
Celtic, or a mixture of the two. The asa-doctrine 
superseded it, but there still remain traces in some 
of the oldest records of the North. Thus we have in 
the prehistoric sagas of Iceland an account of the 
finding of Norway, wherein it is related that Fornjot,* 
in Jotland, which is also called Finland or Quenland, 
east of the Gulf of Bothnia, had three sons: Hler. 
also called ^ger, Loge and Kare.f Of Loge it is 
related that he was of giant descent, and, being very 
tall of stature, he was called Haloge, that is, High 
Loge ; and after him the northern part of Norway is 
called Halogaland (now Helgeland). He was married 
to Glod (a red-hot coal), and had with her two daugh- 
ters, Eysa and Eimyrja ; both words meaning glowing 
embers. Haloge had two jarls, Yifil (the one taking 
a vif = wife) and Yesete (the one who sits at the 
ve — the sanctuary, that is, the dweller by the hearth, 
the first sanctuary), who courted his daughters ; the 
former addressing himself to Eimyrja, the latter to 
Eysa, but the king refusing to give his consent, they 
carried them away secretly. Vesete settled in Bor- 
gundarholm (Bornholm), and had a son, Bue (one who 
settles on a farm) ; Yifil sailed further east and settled 
on the island Yifilsey, on the coast of Sweden, and 
had a son, Yiking (the pirate). 

The third son, Kare, had a numerous offspring. He 
had one son by name Jokul (iceberg), another Froste 

* The word fornjot can be explained in two ways: either as for- 

S'ot = the first enjoyer, possessor; or as fom-jot, the ancient giant, 
e would then correspond to Ymer. 
t Notice this trinity: Hler is the sea (comp. the Welsh word 
llyr = sea); Loge is fire (comp. the Welsh llwg'), he reminds us both 
by his name and his nature of Loke; Kare is the wind. 

NOTES. 241 

(frost), and Froste's son was named Sna (snow). He 
had a third son, by name Thorri (bare frost), after 
whom the mid-winter month, Thorra-month, was called; 
and his daughters hight Fonn (packed snow), Drifa 
(snow-drift), and Mjoll (meal, fine snow). All these 
correspond well to Kare's name, which, as stated, 
means wind. Thorri had two sons, Nor and Gor, and 
a daughter, Goe. The story goes on to tell how Goe, 
the sister, was lost, and how the brothers went to 
search for her, until they finally found him who had 
robbed her. He was Hrolf, from the mountain, a son 
of the giant Svade, and a grandson of Asa-Thor. They 
settled their trouble, and thereupon Hrolf married 
Goe, and ]^or married Hrolf 's sister, settled in the 
land and called it after his own name, Norvegr, that 
is, Norway. By this story we are reminded of Kad- 
mos, who went to seek his lost sister Europa. In the 
Younger Edda the winds are called the sons of Forn- 
jot, the sea is called the son of Fornjot, and the 
brother of the fire and of the winds, and Fornjot is 
named among the old giants. This makes it clear 
that Fornjot and his offspring are not historical per- 
sons, but cosmological impersonations. And addi- 
tional proof of this is found by an examination of the 
beginning of the Saga of Thorstein, Yiking's Son. 
(See Viking Tales of the North, pp. 1 and 2). 



This story about the ploughing of Gylfe reminds 
us of the legend told in the lirst book of Yirgil's 
^neid, about the founding of Carthage by Dido, who 
bought from the Libyan king as much ground as she 
could cover with a bull's hide. Elsewhere it is re- 
lated that she cut the bull's hide into narrow strips 
and encircled therewith all the ground upon which 
Carthage was afterward built. Thus Dido deceived 
the Libyan king nearly as effectually as Gef jun de- 
luded King Gylfe. The story is also told by Snorre 
in Heimskringla, see p. 231. 

The passage in verse, which has given translators 
so much trouble in a transposed form, would read 
as follows : Gef jun glad drew that excellent land 
(djuprodul = the deep sun = gold ; dt5la = udal = 
property; djuprodul otJla = the golden property), 
Denmark's increase (Seeland), so that it reeked 
(steamed) from the running oxen. The oxen bore 
four heads and eight eyes, as they went before the 
wide piece of robbed land of the isle so rich in grass. 

Gefjun is usually interpreted as a goddess of agri- 
culture, and her name is by some derived from y^ and 
fjon^ that is, tei't'ce separatio / others compare it with 
the Anglo-Saxon geofon = the sea. The etymology 
remains very uncertain. 

NOTES. 243 


It is to the delusion or eye-deceit mentioned in this 
chapter that Snorre Sturlasson refers in his Heims- 
kringla, in Chapter YI of Ynglingla Saga. 

Thjodolf of Hvin was a celebrated skald at the 
court of Harald Fairhair. 

Thinking thatchers, etc. Literally transposed, this 
passage would read: Reflecting men let shields (lit- 
erally Svafner's, that is Odin's roof-trees,) glisten on 
the back. They were smitten with stones. To let 
shields glisten on the back, is said of men who throw 
their shields on their backs to protect themselves 
against those who pursue the flying host. 

Har means the High One, Jafnhar the Equally 
High One, and Thride the Third One. By these three 
may be meant the three chief gods of the North : 
Odin, Thor and Frey ; or they may be simply an ex- 
pression of the Eddie trinity. This trinity is repre- 
sented in a number of ways : by Odin, Yile and Ye 
in the creation of the world, and by Odin, Hoener 
and Loder in the creation of Ask and Embla, the 
first human pair. The number three figures exten- 
sively in all mythological systems. In the pre-chaotic 
state we have Muspelheim, JSTiflheim and Ginungagap. 
Fornjot had three sons : Hler, Loge and Kare. There 
are three norns : Urd, Yerdande and Skuld. There are 
three fountains: Hvergelmer, Urd's and Mimer's; 
etc. (See ISTorse Mythology, pp. 183, 195, 196.) 

Har being Odin, Har's Hall will be Yalhal. You 
will not come out from this hall unless you are wiser. 
In the lay of Yafthrudner, of the Elder Edda, we 


have a similar challenge, where Yafthrudner says to 

Out will you not come 

From our halls 

Unless I find you to be wiser (than I am). 


This chapter gives twelve names of Odin. In the 
Eddas and in the skaldic lays he has in all nearly two 
hundred names. His most common name is Odin 
(in Anglo-Saxon and in Old High German Wodan), 
and this is thought by many to be of the same origin 
as our word god. The other Old Norse word for 
god, tivi^ is identical in root with Lat. divus ; Sansk. 
dwas; Gr. Jtog (Zetx;); and this is again connected 
with Tf//\ the Tivisco in the Germania of Tacitus. 
(See Max Miiller's Lectures on the Science of Lan- 
guage, 2d series, p. 425). Paulus Diakonus states that 
Wodan, or Gwodan, was worshiped by all branches 
of the Teutons. Odin has also been sought and found 
in the Scythian Zdlmoxis^ in the Indian Buddha, in 
the Celtic Budd, and in the Mexican Yotan. Zal- 
moxis, derived from the Gr. ZaXiiSq^ helmet, reminds 
us of Odin as the helmet-bearer (Grimm, Gesch. der 
Deutschen Sprache). According to Humboldt, a race 
in Guatemala, Mexico, claim to be descended from 
Votan (Yues des Cordilleres, 1817, I, 208). This sug- 
gests the question whether Odin's name may not have 
been brought to America by the Norse discoverers 
in the 10th and 11th centuries, and adopted by some 
of the native races. In the Lay of Grimner (Elder 
Edda) the following names of Odin are enumerated : 

NOTES. 245 

Grim is my name 

And Ganglere, 

Herjan and Helmet-bearer, 

Thekk and Thride, 

Thud and Ud, 

Helblinde and Har, 

Sad and Svipal, 
And Sanngetal, 
Herteit and Hnikar, 
Bileyg and Baleyg, 
Bolverk, Fjolner, 
Grim and Grimner, 
Glapsvid and Fjolsvid, 

Sidhot, Sidskeg, 

Sigfather, Hnikud, 

Alfather, Valfather, 

Atrid and Farmatyr. 

With one name 

Was I never named 

When 1 fared 'mong the peoples. 

Grimner they called me 

Here at Geirrod's, 

But Jalk at Asmund's, 

And Kjalar the time 

When sleds (kjalka) I drew, 

And Thror at the Thing, 

Vidur on the battle-field, 

Oske and Ome, 

Jafnhar and Biflinde, 

Gondler and Harbard 'mong the gods. 

Svidur and Svidre 
Hight I at Sokmimer's, 
And fooled the ancient giant 
When 1 alone Midvitne's, 
The mighty son's. 
Bane had become. 


Odin 1 now am called, 

Ygg was my name before, 

Before that 1 hight Thuiid, 

Vak and Skilfing, ' 

Vafud and Hroptatyr, 

Got and Jalk 'mong the gods, 

Ofner and Svafner. 

All these names, 1 trow, 

Have to me alone been given. 

What the etymology of all these names is, it is not 
easy to tell. The most of them are clearly Norse 
words, and express the various activities of their 
owner. It is worthy of notice that it is added when 
and where Odin bore this or that name (his name was 
Grim at Geirrod's, Jalk at Asmund's, etc.), and that 
the words sometimes indicate a progressive develop- 
ment, as Thund, then Ygg, and then Odin. First he 
was a mere sound in the air (Thund), then he took 
to thinking (Ygg), and at last he became the inspiring 
soul of the universe. Although we are unable to 
define all these names, they certainly each have a 
distinct meaning, and our ancestors certainly under- 
stood them perfectly. Har = the High One ; Jafn- 
har = the Equally High One ; Thride = the Third 
{Zebq aXXoc; and Tpiroq) ; Alfather probably contracted 
from Aldai2ii\\Qv = the Father of the Ages and the 
Creations ; Yeratyr = the Lord of Beings ; liogner = 
the Ruler (from regin) ; Got (Gautr, from gjota, to 
cast) =;: the Creator, Lat. Instillator ; Mjotud = the 
Creator, the word being allied to Anglo-Saxon meotod, 
metod^ Germ. Messer^ and means originally cutter ; 
but to cut and to make are synonymous. Such names 
as these have reference to Odin's divinity as creator, 
arranger and ruler of gods and men. Svid and Fjol- 

NOTES. 247 

svid == the swift, the wise ; Ganglere, Gangrad and 
Yegtam = the wanderer, the waywont ; Vidrer = 
the weather-ruler, together with serpent-names like 
Ofner, Svafner, etc., refer to Odin's knowledge, his 
journeys, the various shapes he assumes. Permeating 
all nature, he appears in all its forms. Names like 
Sidhot — the slouchy hat ; Sidskeg = the long-beard ; 
Baleyg = the burning-eye ; Grimner = the masked ; 
Jalk (Jack) = the youth, etc. , express the various 
forms in which he was thought to appear, — to his 
slouchy hat, his long beard, or his age, etc. Such 
names as Sanngetal = the true investigator ; Farma- 
tyr = the cargo-god, etc., refer to his various occu- 
pations as inventor, discoverer of runes, protector of 
trade and commerce, etc. Finally, all such names 
as Herfather — father of hosts ; Herjan = the devas- 
tator ; Sigfather = the father of victory ; Sigtyr = 
god of victory ; Skilfing = producing trembling ; Hni- 
kar = the breaker, etc., represent Odin as the god 
of war and victory. Oske = wish, is thus called be- 
cause he gratifies our desires. Gimle, as will be seen 
later, is the abode of the blessed after Ragnarok. 
Vingolf (Yin and golf) means friends' jioor^ and is 
the hall of the goddesses. Hel is the goddess of 
death, and from her name our word hell is derived. 

Our ancestors divided the universe into nine worlds: 
the uppermost was Muspelheim (the world of light) ; 
the lowest was Niflheim (the world of darkness). Com- 
pare the Greek word v&tpily = Triist. (See Norse Myth- 
ology, p. 187.) 

GiNUNGAGAP. Ginn means wide, large, far-reaching, 
perhaps also void (compare the Anglo-Saxon gin — 
gaping, open, spacious ; ginian = to gap ; and gin- 


nung = a yawning). Ginungagap thus means the 
yawning gap or abyss, and represents empty space. 
The poets use ginnung in the sense of a fish and of 
a hawk, and in geographical saga-fragments it is used 
as the name of the Polar Sea. 

HvERGELMER. Tliis word is usually explained as a 
transposition for Hvergemler, which would then be 
derived from Hver and gamall (old) = the old kettle ; 
but Petersen shows that gelmir must be taken from 
galm, which is still found in the Jutland dialect, and 
means a gale (compare Golmstead = a windy place, 
and golme = to roar, blow). Gelmer is then the one 
producing galm, and Hvergelmer thus means the 
roaring kettle. The twelve rivers proceeding from 
Hvergelmer are called the Elivogs (filivagar) in the 
next chapter. £li-vagar means, according to Vigfus- 
son, ice-waves. The most of the names occur in the 
long list of river names given in the Lay of Grimner, 
of the Elder Edda. Svol — the cool ; Gunnthro = the 
battle-trough. Slid is also mentioned in the Vala's 
Prophecy, where it is represented as being full of mud 
and swords. Sylg (from svelgja = to swallow) = the 
devourer ; Ylg (from yla = to roar) = the roaring 
one ; Leipt = the glowing, is also mentioned in the 
Lay of Helge Hunding's Bane, where it is stated that 
they swore by it (compare Styx) ; Gjoll (from gjalla — 
to glisten and clang) = the shining, clanging one. 
The meaning of the other words is not clear, but 
they doubtless all, like those explained, express cold, 
violent motion, etc. The most noteworthy of these 
rivers are Leipt and Gjoll. In the Lay of Grimner 
they are said to flow nearest to the abode of man, 
and fall thence into HePs realm. Over Gjoll was 

NOTES. 249 

the bridge which Hermod, after the death of Balder, 
crossed on his way to Hel. It is said to be thatched 
with shining gold, and a maid by name Modgud 
watches it. In the song of Sturle Thordson, on the 
death of Skule Jarl, it is said that "the king's kins- 
man went over the GjoU-bridge." The farther part 
of the horizon, which often appears like a broad 
bright stream, may have suggested this river. 

SuRT means the swarthy or black one. Many have 
regarded him as the unknown (dark) god, but this 
is probably an error. But there was some one in 
Muspelheim who sent the heat, and gave life to the 
frozen drops of rime. The latter, and not Surt, who 
is a giant, is the eternal god, the mighty one, whom 
the skald in the Lay of Hyndla dare not name. It is 
interesting to notice that our ancestors divided the 
evolution of the world into three distinct periods : 
(1) a pre-chaotic condition (Niflheim, Muspelheim 
and Ginungagap) ; (2) a chaotic condition (Ymer and 
the cow Audhumbla) ; (3) and finally the three gods, 
Odin (spirit), Yile (will) and Ve (sanctity), trans- 
formed chaos into cosmos. And away back in this 
pre-chaotic state of the world we lind this mighty 
being who sends the heat. It is not definitely stated, 
but it can be inferred from other passages, that just 
as the good principle existed from everlasting in 
Muspelheim, so the evil principle existed co-eternally 
with it in Hvergelmer in Niflheim. Hvergelmer is 
the source out of which all matter first proceeded, and 
the dragon or devil ISTidhug, who dwells in Hvergel- 
mer, is, in our opinion, the evil principle who is from 
eternity. The good principle shall continue forever, 
but the evil shall cease to exist after Kagnarok. 


Ymer is the noisy one, and his name is derived 
from ywja — to howl (compare also the Finnish deity 
Jumo, after whom the town Umea takes its name, like 

AuRGELMER, Thrudgelmer and Bergelmer express 
the gradual development from aur (clay) to thrud 
(that which is compressed), and finally to berg (rock). 

YiDOLF, YiLMEiDE and SvARTHOFDE are mentioned 
nowhere else in the mythology. 

BuRE and Bor mean the bearing and the born ; 
that is, father and son. 

BoLTHORN means the miserable one, from bol = 
evil ; and Bestla may mean that which is best. The 
idea then is that Bor united himself with that which 
was best of the miserable material at hand. 

That the flood caused by the slaying of Ymer re- 
minds us of Noah and his ark, and of the Greek 
flood, needs only to be suggested. 


Ask means an ash-tree, and Embla an elm-tree. 

While the etymology of the names in the myths 
are very obscure, the myths themselves are clear 
enough. Similar myths abound in Greek mythology. 
The story about Bil and Hjuke is our old English 
rhyme about Jack and Gill, who went up the hill to 
fetch a pail of water. 


In reference to the golden age, see Norse Myth- 
ology, pp. 182 and 197. 

In the appendix to the German so-called Hero- 
Book we are told that the dwarfs were first created 

NOTES, 251 

to cultivate the desert lands and the mountains ; 
thereupon the giants, to subdue the wild beasts ; and 
finally the heroes, to assist the dwarfs against the 
treacherous giants. While the giants are always 
hostile to the gods, the dwarfs are usually friendly 
to them. 

Dwarfs. Both giants and dwarfs shun the light. 
If surprised by the breaking forth of day, they be- 
come changed to stone. In one of the poems of the 
Elder Edda (the Alvismal), Thor amuses the dwarf 
Alvis with various questions till daylight, and then 
cooly says to him : With great artifices, I tell you, 
you have been deceived ; you are surprised here, 
dwarf, by daylight ! The sun now shines in the hall. 
In the Helgakvida Atle says to the giantess Hrim- 
gerd : It is now day, Ilrimgerd ! But Atle has de- 
tained you, to your life's perdition. It will appear 
a laughable harbor-mark, where you stand as a stone- 

In the German tales the dwarfs are described as 
deformed and diminutive, coarsely clad and of dusky 
hue : ' ' a little black man, " ' ' a little gray man. ' ' They 
are sometimes of the height of a child of four years, 
sometimes as two spans high, a thumb high (hence, 
Tom Thumb). The old Danish ballad of Eline of 
Yillenwood mentions a troll not bigger than an ant. 
Dvergmal (the speech of the dwarfs) is the Old IS'orse 
expression for the echo in the mountains. 

In the later popular belief, the dwarfs are generally 
called the subterraneans, the brown men in the moor, 
etc. They make themselves invisible by a hat or 
hood. The women spin and weave, the men are smiths. 
In Norway rock-crystal is called dwarf-stone. Certain 


stones are in Denmark called dwarf-liammers. They 
borrow tilings and seek advice from peo])le, and beg 
aid for their wives when in labor, all which services 
they reward. But they also lame cattle, are thievish, 
and will carry off damsels. There have been instances 
of dwarf females having married and had children with 
men. (Thorpe's Northern Mythology.) 

War. It was the first warfare in the world, says 
the Elder Edda, when they pierced Gullveig (gold- 
thirst) through with a spear, and burned her in Odin's 
hall. Thrice they burned her, thrice she was born 
anew : again and again, but still she lives. When 
she comes to a house they call her Heide (the briglit, 
the welcome), and regard her as a propitious vala 
or prophetess. She can tame wolves, understands 
witchcraft, and delights wicked women. Hereupon 
the gods consulted together whether they should 
punish this misdeed, or accept a blood -fine, when 
Odin cast forth a spear among mankind, and now 
began war and slaughter in the world. The defenses 
of the burgh of the asas was broken down. The vans 
anticipated war, and hastened over the field. The 
Valkyries came from afar, ready to ride to the gods' 
people: Skuld with the shield, Skogul, Gunn, Hild, 
Gondul and Geirr Skogul. (Quoted by Thorpe.) 


In reference to Ygdrasil, we refer our readers to 
Norse Mythology, pp. 205-211, and to Thomas Car- 
lyle's Heroes and Hero-worship. 

A connection between the norns IJrd, Yerdande and 
Skuld and the weird sisters in Shakspeare's Macbeth 
has long since been recognized ; but new light has 

NOTES. 253 

recently been thrown upon the subject by the philoso- 
pher Karl Blind, who has contributed valuable articles 
on the subject in the German periodical ''Die Gegen- 
wart ' ' and in the ' ' London Academy. ' ' We take the 
liberty of reproducing here an abstract of his article 
in the ''Academy": 


The fact itself of these Witches being simply transfigurations, or 
later disguises, of the Teutonic Norns is fully established — as may 
be seen from Grimm or Simrock. In delineating these hags, Shak- 
speare has practically drawn upon old Germanic sources, perhaps 
upon current folk-lore of his time. 

It has always struck me as noteworthy that in the greater part 
of the scene between the Weird Sisters, Macbeth and Banquo, and 
wherever the Witches come in, Shakspeare uses the staff- rime in a 
remarkable manner. Not only does this add powerfully to the 
archaic impressiveness and awe, but it also seems to bring the form 
and figure of the Sisters of Fate more closely within the circle of the 
Teutonic idea. I have pointed out this striking use of the alliterative 
system in Macbeth in an article on "An old German Poem and a 
Vedic Hymn," which appeared in Fraser in June, 1877, and in 
which the derivation of the Weird Sisters from the Germanic Norns 
is mentioned. 

The very first scene in the first act of Macbeth opens strongly with 
the staff- rime: 

1st Witch. When shall we three meet again — 
In thunder, lightning or in rain? 

2d Witch. When the hurly-burly's done. 
When the battle's lost and won. \ 

Sd Witch. That will be ere set of sun. 

1st Witch. Where the place? 

2d Witch. Upon the heath. 

Sd Witch. There to meet with Macbeth. 

1st Witch. I come, Graymalkin 1 

All. Paddock calls. Anon. 
Fair is foul, and foul is fair. 
Hover through the fog and filthy air. 

Not less marked is the adoption of the fullest staff-rime — to- 
gether (as above) with the end-rime — in the third scene, when the 
Weird Sisters speak. Again, there is the staff-rime when Banquo 
addresses them. Again, the strongest alliteration, combined with the 


end-rime, runs aH through the Witches' spell-song in Act iv, scene 1. 
This feature in Shakspeare appears to me to merit closer investiga- 
tion; all the more so because a less regular alliteration, but still a 
marked one, is found in not a few passages of a number of his plays. 
Only one further instance of the systematic employment of allitera- 
tion may here be noted in passing. It is in Ariel's songs in the 
Tempest, Act i, scene 2. Schlegel and Tieck evidently did not ob- 
serve this alliterative peculiarity. Their otherwise excellent transla- 
tion does not render it, except so far as the obvious similarity of 
certain English and German words involuntarily made them do so. 
But in the notes to their version of Macbeth the character of the 
Weird Sisters is also misunderstood, though Warburton is referred 
to, who had already suggested their derivations from the Valkyrs or 

It is an error to say that the Witches in Macbeth "are never 
called witches" (compare Act i, scene 3: "'Give me!' quoth I. 
'A-roint thee, witch! ' the rump-fed ronyon cries "). However, their 
designation as Weird Sisters fully settles the case of their Germanic 

This name "Weird" is derived from the Anglo-Saxon Norn 
Wyrd (Sax. Wurth; 0. H. Ger. Wurd; Norse, Urd), who repre- 
sents the Past, as her very name shows. Wurd is die Geivordene — 
the "Has Been," or rather the "Has Become," if one could say 
so in English. 


In Shakspeare the Witches are three in number — even as in 
Norse, German, as well as in Keltic and other mythologies. Urd, 
properly speaking, is the Past. Skuld is the Future, or "That 
Which shall Be." Verdandi, usually translated as the Present, has 
an even deeper meaning. Her name is not to be derived from vera 
(to be), but from verda (Ger. iverden). This verb, which has a mixed 
meaning of " to be," "to become," or to " grow," has been lost in 
English. Verdandi is, therefore, not merely a representative of pres- 
ent Being, but of the process of Growing, or of Evolution — which 
gives her figure a profounder aspect. Indeed, there is generally more 
significance in mythological tales than those imagine who look upon 
them chiefly as a barren play of fancy. 

Incidentally it may be remarked that, though Shakspeare 's Weird 
Sisters are three in number — corresponding to Urd, Verdandi and 
Skuld — German and Northern mythology and folk-lore occasionally 
speak of twelve or seven of them. In the German tale of Dorn- 

NOTES. 255 

roschen, or the Sleeping Beauty, there are twelve good fays; and a 
thu'teenth, who works the evil spell. Once, in German folk-lore, we 
meet with but two Sisters of Fate — one of them called Kann^ the 
other Muss. Perhaps these are representatives of man's measure of 
free will (that which he " can ''), and of that which is his inevitable 
fate — or, that which he " must " do. 

Though the word "Norn" has been lost in England and Ger- 
many, it is possibly preserved in a German folk-lore ditty, which 
speaks of three Sisters of Fate as "Nuns." Altogether, German 
folk-lore is still full of rimes about three Weird Sisters. They are 
sometimes called Wild Women, or Wise Women, or the Measurers 
{Metten) — namely, of Fate; or, euphemistically, like the Eumeni- 
des, the Advisers of Welfare {Heil-Rdthinnen), reminding us of the 
counsels given to Macbeth in the apparition scene; or the Quick 
Judges {Gach-Schepfen). Even as in the Edda, these German fays 
weave and twist threads or ropes, and attach them to distant parts, 
thus fixing the weft of Fate. One of these fays is sometimes called 
Held, and described as black, or as half dark half white — like Hel, 
the Mistress of the Nether World. That German fay is also called 
Rachel, clearly a contraction of Rach-Hel, i. e. the Avengeress Hel. 

Now, in Macbeth also the Weird Sisters are described as "black." 
The coming up of Hekate with them in the cave-scene might not 
unfitly be looked upon as a parallel with the German Held, or Rach- 
Hel, and the Norse Hel; these Teutonic deities being originally 
Goddesses of Nocturnal Darkness, and of the Nether World, even 
as Hekate. 

In German folk-lore, three Sisters of Fate bear the names of 
Wilbet, Worbet and Ainbet. Etymologically these names seem to 
refer to the well-disposed nature of a fay representing the Past; to 
the warring or worrying troubles of the Present; and to the terrors 
[Ain = Agin) of the Future. All over southern Germany, from 
Austria to Alsace and Rhenish Hesse, the three fays are known 
under various names besides Wilbet, Worbet, and Ainbet — for in- 
stance, as Mechtild, Ottilia, and Gertraud; as Irmina, Adela, and 
Chlothildis, and so forth. The fay in the middle of this trio is 
always a good fay, a white fay — but blind. Her treasure (the very 
names of Ottilia and Adela point to a treasure) is continually being 
taken from her by the third fay, a dark and evil one, as well as by 
the first. This myth has been interpreted as meaning that the 
Present, being blinded as to its own existence, is continually being 
encroached upon, robbed as it were, by the dark Future and the Past. 


Of this particular trait there is no vestige in Shakspeare's Weird 
Sisters. They, hke the Norns, "go hand in hand." But there is 
another point which claims attention: Shakspeare's Witches are 
bearded. ("You should be women, and yet your beards forbid me 
to interpret that you are so." Act i, scene 3.) 

It need scarcely be brought to recollection that a commingling of 
the female and male character occurs in the divine and semi-divine 
figures of various mythological systems — including the Bearded 
Venus. Of decisive importance is, however, the fact of a bearded 
Weird Sister having apparently been believed m by our heathen 
German forefathers. 

Near Wessobrunn, m Upper Bavana, where the semi-heathen 
fragment of a cosmogonic lay, known as "Wessobrunn Prayer," 
was discovered, there has also been found, of late, a rudely-sculp- 
tured three-headed image. It is looked upon as an ancient effigy of 
the German Norns. The Cloister of the three Holy Bournes, or 
Fountains, which stands close by the place of discovery, is supposed 
to have been set up on ground that had once served for pagan 
worship. Probably the later monkish estabhshment of the Three 
Holy Bournes had taken the place of a similarly named heathen 
sanctuary where the three Sisters of Fate were once adored. In- 
deed, the name of all the corresponding fays in yet current German 
folk-lore is connected with holy wells. This quite fits in with the 
three Eddie Bournes near the great Tree of Existence, at one of 
which — apparently at the oldest, which is the very Source of Being 
— the Norns live, " the maidens that over the Sea of Age travel in 
deep foreknowledge," and of whom it is said that: 

They laid the lots; they ruled the life 
To the sons of men, their fate foretelling. 

Now, curiously enough, the central head of the slab found near 
Wessobrunn, in the neighborhood of the Cloister of the Three Holy 
Bournes, is bearded. This has puzzled our archaeologists. Some of 
them fancied that what appears to be a beard might after all be the 
hair of one of the fays or Norns, tied round the chm. By the Hght 
of the description of the Weird Sisters in Shakspeare's Macbeth we, 
however, see at once the true connection. 

In every respect, therefore, his " Witches " are an echo from the 
ancient Germanic creed — an echo, moreover, coming to us in the 
oldest Teutonic verse-form; that is, in the staff-rime. 

Karl Blind. 

NOTES. 257 

Elves. The elves of later times seem a sort of 
middle thing between the light and dark elves. They 
are fair and lively, but also bad and mischievous. 
In some parts of Norway the peasants describe them 
as diminutive naked boys with hats on. Traces of 
their dance are sometimes to be seen on the wet grass, 
especially on the banks of rivers. Their exhalation 
is injurious, and is called alfgust or elfhlcest^ causing 
a swelling, which is easily contracted by too nearly 
approaching places where they have spat, etc. They 
have a predilection for certain spots, but particularly 
for large trees, which on that account the owners do 
not venture to meddle with, but look on them as 
something sacred, on which the weal or woe of the 
place depends. Certain diseases among their cattle 
are attributed to the elves, and are, therefore, called 
elf-fire or elf-shot. The dark elves are often con- 
founded with the dwarfs, with whom they, indeed, 
seem identical, although they are distinguished in 
Odin's Raven's Song. The E'orwegians also make 
a distinction between dwarfs and elves, believing the 
former to live solitary and in quiet, while the latter 
love music and dancing. (Faye, p. 48; quoted by 

The fairies of Scotland are precisely identical with 
the above. They are described as a diminutive race 
of beings of a mixed or rather dubious nature, capri- 
cious in their dispositions and mischievous in their 
resentment. They inhabit the interior of green hills, 
chiefly those of a conical form, in Gaelic termed 
Sighan^ on which they lead their dances by moon- 
light ; impressing upon the surface the marks of 
circles, which sometimes appear yellow and blasted, 


sometimes of a deep green hue, and within which it 
is dangerous to sleep, or to be found after sunset. 
Cattle which are suddenly seized with the cramp, or 
some similar disorder, are said to be elf -shot. (Scott's 
Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border ; quoted by Thorpe. ) 

Of the Swedish elves, Arndt gives the following 
sketch : Of giants, of dwarfs, of the alp, of dragons, 
that keep watch over treasures, they have the usual 
stories ; nor are the kmdly elves forgotten. How 
often has my postillion, when he observed a circular 
mark in the dewy grass, exclaimed : See ! there the 
elves have been dancing. These elf-dances play a 
great part in the spinning-room. To those who at 
midnight happen to enter one of these circles, the 
elves become visible, and may then play all kinds 
of pranks with them ; though in general they are 
little, merry, harmless beings, both male and female. 
They often sit in small stones, that are hollowed out 
in circular form, and which are called elf-querns or 
mill-stones. Their voice is said to be soft like the 
air. If a loud cry is heard in the forest, it is that 
of the Skogsr^ (spirit of the wood), which should be 
answered only by a He! when it can do no harm. 
(Keise durch Sweden; quoted by Thorpe.) 

The elf-shot was known in England in very remote 
times, as appears from the Anglo-Saxon incantation, 
printed by Grimm in his Deutsche Mythologie, and 
in the appendix to Kemble's Saxons in England: 
Gif hit woere esa gescot ot$t5e hit wcere ylfa gescot ; 
that is, if it were an asa-shot or an elf-shot. On this 
subject Grimm says : It is a very old belief that 
dangerous arrows were shot by the elves from the air. 
The thunder-bolt is also called elf-shot, and in Scot- 

NOTES. 259 

land a hard, sharp, wedge-shaped stone is known by 
the name of elf-arrow, elf-flint, elf-bolt, which, it is 
supposed, has been sent by the spirits. (Quoted bj 


Our ancestors divided the universe into nine worlds, 
and these again into three groups: 

1. Over the earth. Muspelheim, Ljosalfaheim and 

2. On the earth. Jotunheim, Midgard and Yan- 

3. Below the earth. Svartalfaheim, Mflheim and 

The gods had twelve abodes : 

1. Thrudheim. The abode of Thor. His realm is 
Thrudvang, and his palace is Bilskirner. 

2. Yd ALEE. Uller's abode. 

3. Yalaskjalf. Odin's hall. 

4. SoKVABEK. The abode of Saga. 

5. Gladsheim, where there are twelve seats for 
the gods, besides the throne occupied by Alfather. 

6. Thkymheim. Skade's abode, 
Y. Breidablik, Balder' s abode. 

8. HiMMiNBjoRO. Heimdal's abode. 

9. FoLKVANG. Freyja's abode. 

10. Olitner. Forsete's abode. 

11. E'oATUN. Ejord's abode 

12. Land vide. Yidar's abode. 

According to the Lay of Grimner, the gods had 
twelve horses, but the owner of each horse is not 
given : 

(1) Sleipner (Odin's), (2) Goldtop (Heimdal's), 


(3) Glad, (4) Gyller, (5) Gler, (6) Skeidbrimer, (Y) 
Silvertop, (8) Siner, (9) Gisl, (10) Falhofner, (11) 
Lightfoot, (12) Blodughofdi (Frey's). 

The owners of nine of them are not given, and, 
moreover, it is stated that Thor had no horse, but 
always either went on foot or drove his goats. 

The favorite numbers are three, nine and twelve. 
Monotheism was recognized in the unknown god, 
who is from everlasting to everlasting. A number 
of trinities were established, and the nine worlds 
were classified into three groups. The week had nine 
days, and originally there were probably but nine 
gods, that is, before the vans were united with the 
asas. The number nine occurs where Heimdal is 
said to have nine mothers, Menglad is said to have 
nine maid-servants, ^ger had nine daughters, etc. 
When the vans were united with the asas, the number 
rose to twelve : 

(1) Odin, (2) Thor, (3) Tyr, (4) Balder, (5) Hoder, 
(6) Heimdal, (7) Hermod, (8) ISTjord, (9) Frey, (10) 
UUer, (11) Yidar, (12) Forsete. 

If we add to this list Brage, Yale and Loke, we get 
fifteen ; but the Eddas everywhere declare that there 
are twelve gods, who were entitled to divine worship. 

The number of the goddesses is usually given as 


Loke and his offspring are so fully treated in our 
Norse Mythology, that we content ourselves by re- 
ferring our readers to that work. 

NOTES. 261 


Frejja's ornament Brising. In the saga of Olaf 
Tryggvason, there is a rather awkward story of the 
manner in which Freyja became possessed of her 
ornament. Freyja, it is told, was a mistress of Odin. 
Not far from the palace dwelt four dwarfs, whose 
names were Alfrig, Dvalin, Berling and Grer ; they 
were skillful smiths. Looking one day into their 
stony dwelling, Freyja saw them at work on a beauti- 
ful golden necklace, or collar, which she offered to 
buy, but which they refused to part with, except on 
conditions quite incompatible with the fidelity she 
owed to Odin, but to which she, nevertheless, was 
tempted to accede. Thus the ornament became hers. 
By some means this transaction came to the knowl- 
edge of Loke, who told it to Odin. Odin commanded 
him to get possession of the ornament. This was no 
easy task, for no one could enter Freyja's bower 
without her consent. He went away whimpering, 
but most were glad on seeing him in such tribulation. 
When he came to the locked bower, he could no- 
where find an entrance, and, it being cold weather, 
he began to shiver. He then transformed himself 
into a fly and tried every opening, but in vain ; there 
was nowhere air enough to make him to get through 
[Loke (fire) requires air]. At length he found a hole 
in the roof, but not bigger than the prick of a needle. 
Through this he slipt. On his entrance he looked 
around to see if anyone were awake, but all were 
buried in sleep. He peeped in at Freyja's bed, and 
saw that she had the ornament round her neck, but 
that the lock was on the side she lay on. He then 


transformed himself to a flea, placed himself on Frey- 
ja's cheek, and stung her so that she awoke, but only 
turned herself round and slept again. He then laid 
aside his assumed form, cautiously took the orna- 
ment, unlocked the bower, and took his prize to 
Odin. In the morning, on waking, Freyja seeing 
the door open, without having been forced, and that 
her ornament was gone, instantly understood the whole 
affair. Having dressed herself, she repaired to Odin's 
hall, and upbraided him with having stolen her orna- 
ment, and insisted on its restoration, which she finally 
obtained. (Quoted by Thorpe.) 

Mention is also made of the Brosinga-men in the 
Beowulf (verse 2394). Here it is represented as be- 
longing to Hermanric, but the legend concerning it 
has never been found. 


This myth about Frey and Gerd is the subject of 
one of the most fascinating poems in the Elder Edda, 
the Journey of Skirner. It is, as Auber Forestier, in 
Echoes from Mistland, says, the germ of the Niblung 
story. Frey is Sigurd or Sigfrid, and Gerd is Bryn- 
hild. The myth is also found in another poem of 
the Elder Edda, the Lay of Fjolsvin, in which the 
god himself — there called Svipday (the hastener of 
the day) — undertakes the journey to arouse from the 
winter sleep the cold giant nature of the maiden Men- 
glad (the sun-radiant daughter), who is identical with 
Freyja (the goddess of spring, promise, or of love 
between man and woman, and who can easily be com- 
pared with Gerd). Before the bonds which enchain 
the maiden can in either case be broken, Bele (the 

NOTES. 263 

giant of spring storms, corresponding to the dragon 
Fafner in the Mblung story,) must be conquered, 
and Wafurloge (the wall of bickering flames that sur- 
rounded the castle) must be penetrated. The fanes 
symbolize the funeral pyre, for whoever enters the 
nether world must scorn the fear of death. (Auber 
Forestier's Echoes from Mistland; Introduction, xliii, 
xliv.) We also And this story repeated again and 
again, in numberless variations, in Teutonic folk-lore ; 
for instance, in The Maiden on the Glass Mountain, 
where the glass mountain takes the place of the bick- 
ering flame. 


The tree Lerad (furnishing protection) must be 
regarded as a branch of Ygdrasil. 


In Heimskringla Skidbladner is called Odin's ship. 
This is correct. All that belonged to the gods was 
his also. 


For a thorough analysis of Thor as a spring god, 
as the god who dwells in the clouds, as the god of 
thunder and lightning, as the god of agriculture, in 
short, as the god of culture, we can do no better than 
to refer our readers to Der Mythus von Thor, nach 
Nordischen Quellen, von Ludwig Uhland, Stuttgart, 
1836 ; and to Handbuch der Deutschen Mythologie, 
mit Einschluss der Nordischen, von Karl Simrock, 
Yierte Auflage, Bonn, 1874. 

264 THE YOUisraER edda. 


The death of Balder is justly regarded as the most 
beautiful myth in Teutonic mythology. It is con- 
nected with the Lay of Yegtam in the Elder Edda. 
Like so many other myths (Frey and Gerd, The Rob- 
bing of Idun, etc.) the myth symbolizes originally the 
end of summer and return of spring. Thus Balder 
dies every year and goes to Hel. But in the follow- 
ing spring he returns to the asas, and gladdens all 
things living and dead with his pure shining light. 
Gradually, however, the myth was changed from a 
symbol of the departing and returning summer, and 
applied to the departing and returning of the world 
year, and thus the death of Balder prepares the way 
for Ragnarok and Regeneration. Balder goes to Hel 
and does not return to this world. Thokk refuses to 
weep for him. His return is promised after Ragna- 
rok. The next spring does not bring him back, but 
the rejuvenated earth. Thus the death of Balder be- 
comes the central thought in the drama of the fate 
of the gods and of the world. It is inseparably con- 
nected with the punishment of Loke and the twilight 
of the gods. The winter following the death of Balder 
is not an ordinary winter, but the Fimbul-winter, 
which is followed by no summer, but by the destruc- 
tion of the world. The central idea in the Odinic re- 
ligion, the destruction and regeneration of the world, 
has taken this beautiful sun-myth of Balder into its 
service. Balder is then no more merely the pure holy 
light of heaven ; he symbolizes at the same time the 
purity and innocence of the gods ; he is changed from 
a physical to an ethical myth. He impersonated al 

NOTES. 265 

that was good and holy in the life of the gods ; and so 
it came to pass that when the golden age had ceased, 
when thirst for gold (Gulveigj, when sin and crime 
had come into the world, he was too good to live 
in it. As in Genesis fratricide (Cain and Abel) fol- 
lowed upon the eating of the forbidden fruit, and the 
loss of paradise ; so, when the golden age (paradise) 
had ended among the asas, Loke (the serpent) brought 
fratricide (Hoder and Balder) among the gods ; them- 
selves and our ancestors regarded fratricide as the 
lowest depth of moral depravity. After the death of 

Brothers slay brothers, 

Sisters' children 

Shed each other's blood, 

Hard grows the world. 

Sensual sin waxes huge. 

There are sword-ages, ax-ages — 
Shields are cleft in twain, — 
Storm- ages, murder- ages, 
Till the world falls dead. 
And men no longer spare 
Or pity one another. 

Upon the whole we may say that a sun-myth first 
represents the death of the day at sunset, when the sky 
is radiant as if dyed in blood. In the flushing morn 
light wins its victory again. Then this same myth be- 
comes transferred to the death and birth of summer. 
Once more it is lifted into a higher sphere, while still 
holding on to its physical interpretation, and is applied 
to the world year. Finally, it is clothed v/itli ethical at- 
tributes, becomes thoroughly anthropomorphized, and 
typifies the good and the evil, the virtues and vices 
(light and darkness), in the character and life of gods 


and of men. Thus we get four stages in tlie develop- 
ment of the myth. 


Ragnarok. The word is found written in two ways, 
Ragnarok and ragnarokr. E-agna is genitive plural, 
from the word regin (god), and means of the gods. 
E-ok means reason, ground, origin, a wonder, sign, 
marvel. It is allied to the O. H. G. rahha = sentence, 
judgment. Ragnarok would then mean the history of 
the gods^ and applied to the dissolution of the world, 
might be translated the last judgment^ doomsday, weird 
of gods and the world, Rokr means twilight^ and 
Ragnarokr, as the Younger Edda has it, thus means 
the twilight of the gods, and the latter is adopted by 
nearly all modern writers, although Gudbr. Yigfusson 
declares that Ragnarok (doomsday) is no doubt the 
correct form. And this is also to be said in favor of 
doomsday, that Ragnarok does not involve only the 
twilight, but the whole night of the gods and the world. 


This chapter of Skaldkajparmal contains much 
valuable material for a correct understanding of the 
Nibelungen-Lied, especially as to the origin of the 
Niblung hoard, and the true character of Brynhild. 
The material given here, and in the Icelandic Yol- 
sunga Saga, has been used by Wm. Morris in his 
Sigurd the Yolsung and the Fall of the JS'iblungs. 
In the Mbelungen-Lied, as transposed by Auber 
Forestier, in Echoes from Mist-Land, we have a per- 
fect gem of literature from the middle high German 

NOTES. 267 

period, but its author had lost sight of the divine and 
mythical origin of the material that he wove into hi& 
poem. It is only by combining the German Nibe- 
lungen-Lied with the mythical materials found in 
Norseland that our national Teutonic epic can be 
restored to us. Wagner has done this for us in his 
famous drama ; Jordan has done it in his Sigfrid's 
saga ; Morris has done it in the work mentioned 
above ; but will not Auber Forestier gather up all 
the scattered fragments relating to Sigurd and Bryn- 
hild, and weave them together into a prose narrative, 
that shall delight the young and the old of this great 
land ? 

We are glad to welcome at this time a new book 
in the field of Mblung literature. We refer to Geibel's 
Brunhild, translated, with introduction and notes, by 
Prof. G. Theo. Dippold, and recently published in 


This is usually called the peace of Frode, which 
corresponds to the golden age in the life of the asas. 
Avarice is the root of crime, and all other evils. 
Avarice is at the bottom of all the endless woes of 
the Mblung story. The myth explaining why the 
sea is salt is told in a variety of forms in diiferent 
countries. In Germany there are several folk-lore 
stories and traditions in regard to it. In l^orway, 
where folk-lore tales are so abundant, we find the 
myth about Menja and Fenja recurring in the follow- 
ing form : 



Long, long ago there were two brothers, the one 
was rich and the other was poor. On Christmas eve 
the poor one had not a morsel of bread or meat in his 
house, and so he went to his brother and asked him 
for mercy's sake to give him something for Christ- 
mas. It was not the first time the brother had had 
to give him, and he was not very much pleased to see 
him this time either. 

" If you will do what I ask of you, I will give you 
a whole ham of pork," said he. 

The poor man promised immediately, and was very 
thankful besides. 

"There you have it, now go to hell," said the rich 
one, and threw the ham at him. 

"What I have promised, I suppose, I must keep," 
said the other. He took the ham and started. He 
walked and walked the whole day, and at twilight he 
came to a place where everything looked so bright 
and splendid. 

"This must be the place," thought the man with 
the ham. 

Out in the wood-shed stood an old man with a long 
white beard, cutting wood for Christmas. 

" Good evening," said the man with the ham. 

' ' Good evening, sir. Wliere are you going so 
late ? " said the man. 

' ' I am on my way to hell, if I am on the right 
road," said the poor man. 

"Yes, you have taken the right road; it is here," 
said the old man. "Kow when you get in, they will 
all want to buy your ham, for pork is rare food in 

NOTES. 269 

hell ; but jou must not sell it, unless you get the 
hand-mill that stands back of the door for it. When 
you come out again I will show you how to regulate 
it. You will find it useful in more than one respect. ' ' 

The man with the ham thanked the old man for 
this valuable information, and rapped at the devil's 

When he came in it happened as the old man had 
said. All the devils, both the large ones and the 
small ones, crowded around him like ants around a 
worm, and the one bid higher than the other for the 

"It is true my wife and I were to have it for our 
Christmas dinner, but, seeing that you are so eager 
for it, I suppose I will have to let you have it," said 
the man. ' ' But if I am to sell it, I want that hand- 
mill that stands behind the door there for it." 

The devil did not like to spare it, and kept dicker- 
ing and bantering with the man, but he insisted, and 
so the devil had to give him the hand-mill. When 
the man came out in the yard he asked the old wood- 
chopper how he should regulate the mill ; and when 
he had learned how to do it, he said "thank you," 
and made for home as fast as he could. But still 
he did not reach home before twelve o'clock in the 
night Christmas eve. 

"Why, where in the world have you been? " said 
the woman. "Here I have been sitting hour after 
hour waiting and waiting, and I haven't as much as 
two sticks to put on the fire so as to cook the Christ- 
mas porridge." 

" Oh, I could not come any sooner. I had several 
errands to do, and I had a long way to go too. But 


now I will show jou," said the man. He set the 
mill on the table, and had it first grind light, then 
a table-cloth, then food and ale and all sorts of good 
things for Christmas, and as he commanded the mill 
ground. The woman expressed her great astonish- 
ment again and again, and wanted to know where her 
husband had gotten the mill, but this he would not 

"It makes no difference where I have gotten it; 
jou see the mill is a good one, and that the water 
does not freeze," said the man. 

Then he ground food and drink, and all good 
things, for the whole Christmas week, and on the 
third day he invited his friends : he was going to 
have a party. When the rich brother saw all the 
nice and good things at the party, he became very 
wroth, for he could not bear to see his brother have 

"Christmas eve he was so needy that he came to 
me and asked me for mercy's sake to give him a little 
food, and now he gives a feast as though he were 
both count and king," said he to the others. 

' ' But where in hell have you gotten all your riches 
from? " said he to his brother. 

"Behind the door," answered he who owned the 
mill. He did not care to give any definite account, 
but later in the evening, when he began to get a little 
tipsy, he could not help himself and brought out the 

"There you see the one that has given me all the 
riches." said he, and then he let the mill grind both 
one thing and another. When the brother saw this 
he was bound to have the mill, and after a long 

NOTES. 271 

bantering about it, lie finally was to have it ; but 
lie was to pay three hundred dollars for it, and his 
brother was to keep it until harvest. 

"When I keep it until then, I shall have ground 
food enough to last many years," thought he. 

Of course the mill got no chance to grow rusty 
-during the next six months, and when harvest-time 
came, the rich brother got it ; but the other man had 
taken good care not to show him how to regulate it. 
It was in the evening that the rich man brought the 
mill home, and in the morning he bade his wife go 
and spread the hay after the mowers, — he would get 
dinner ready, he said. Toward dinner he put the 
mill on the table. 

''Grind fish and gruel : Grind both well and fast!" 
said the man, and the mill began to grind fish and 
gruel. It first filled all the dishes and tubs full, and 
after that it covered the whole floor with fish and 
gruel. The man kept puttering and tinkering, and 
tried to get the mill to stop ; but no matter how he 
turned it and fingered at it, the mill kept on, and 
before long the gruel got so deep in the room that 
the man was on the point of drowning. Then he 
opened the door to the sitting-room, but before long 
that room was filled too, and the man had all he 
could do to get hold of the door-latch down in this 
flood of gruel. When he got the door open he did 
not remain long in the room. He ran out as fast as 
he could, and there was a perfect flood of fish gruel 
behind, deluging the yard and his fields. 

The wife, who was in the meadow making hay, be- 
gan to think that it took a long time to get dinner 


^'Even if husband does not call us, we will have 
to go anyway. 1 suppose he does not know much 
about making gruel ; I will have to go and help 
him," said the woman to the mowers. 

They went homeward, but on coming up the hill 
they met the flood of fish and gruel and bread, the 
one mixed up with the other, and the man came run- 
ning ahead of the flopd. 

''Would that each one of you had an hundred 
stomachs, but have a care that you do not drown in 
the gruel flood," cried the husband. He ran by them 
as though the devil had been after him, and hastened 
down to his brother. He begged him in the name of 
everything sacred to come and take the mill away 

''If it grinds another hour the whole settlement 
will perish in fish and gruel," said he. 

But the brother would not take it unless he got 
three hundred dollars, and this money had to be paid 
to him. 

Kow the poor brother had both money and the 
mill, and so it did not take long before he got him- 
self a farm, and a much nicer one than his brother's. 
With his mill he ground out so much, gold that he 
covered his house all over with sheets of gold. The 
house stood down by the sea-shore, and it glistened 
far out upon the sea. All who sailed past had to go 
ashore and visit the rich man in the golden house, 
and all wanted to see the wonderful mill, for its fame 
spread far and wide, and there was none who had not 
heard speak of it. 

After a long time there came a sea-captain who 

NOTES. 273 

wished to see the mill. He asked whether it could 
grind salt. 

''Yes, it can grind salt," said he who owned the 
mill ; and when the captain heard this, he was bound 
to have it, let it cost what it will. For if he had that, 
thought he, he would not have to sail far off over 
dangerous waters after cargoes of salt. At first the 
man did not wish to sell it, but the captain teased 
and begged and finally the man sold it, and got many 
thousand dollarg for it. When the captain had gotten 
the mill on his back, he did not stay there long, for 
he was afraid the man might reconsider the bargain 
and back out again. He had no time to ask how to 
regulate it; he went to his ship as fast as he could, 
and when he had gotten some distance out upon the 
sea, he got his mill out. 

"Grind salt both fast and well," said the captain. 
The mill began to grind salt, and that with all its 
might. When the captain had gotten the ship full 
he wanted to stop the mill ; but no matter how he 
worked, and no matter how he handled it, the mill 
kept grinding as fast as ever, and the heap of salt 
kept growing larger and larger, and at last the ship 
sank. The mill stands on the bottom of the sea 
grinding this very day, and so it comes that the sea 
is salt. 


Adils. a king who reigned in Upsala. 

Ae. a dwarf. 

iEGER. The god presiding over the stormy sea. 

Alp. a dwarf. 

Alfather. a name of Odin. 

Alfheim. The home of the elves. 

Alfrig. a dwarf. 

Alsvid. One of the horses of the sun. 

Althjof. a dwarf, 

Alvis. a dwarf. 

Amsvartner. The name of the lake in which the island was 

situated where the wolf Fenrer was chained. 
Andhrimner. The cook in Valhal. " 
Andlang. The second heaven. 
Andvare. a dwarf. 

Andvare-naut. The ring in the Niblung story. 
Angerboda. a giantess; mother of the Fenris-wolf. 
Annar. Husband of Night and father of Jord. 
Arvak. The name of one of the horses of the sun. 
AsAHEiM. The home of the asas. 
AsALAND. The land of the asas. 
Asas. The Teutonic gods. 
Asa-Thor. a common name for Thor. 
AsGARD. The residence of the gods. 

Ask. The name of the first man created by Odin, Honer and Loder. 
AsLAUG. Daughter of Sigurd and Brynhild. 
AsMUND. A man visited by Odin. 
AsYNJES. The Teutonic goddesses 
Atle. Gudrun's husband after the death of Sigurd. 
Atrid. a name of Odin. 

AuD. The son of Night and Naglfare. % 

AuDHUMBLA. The cow that nourished the giant Ymer. 
AuDUN. A name derived from Odin. 
Aurgelmer. a giant; grandfather of Bergelmer; the same as 




AuBVANG. A dwarf. 

AusTRE. A dwarf. 

Bafur. a dwarf. 

Balder. Son of Odin and Frigg, slain by Hoder. 

Baleyg. a name of Odin. 

Bar- Isle. A cool grove in which Gerd agreed with Skimer to meet 

Bauge. a brother of Suttung. Odin worked for him one summer^ 

in order to get his help in obtaining Suttung's mead of poetry. 
Beigud. One of Rolf Krake's berserks. 
Bele. a giant, brother of Gerd, slain by Frey. 
Bergelmer. a giant; son of Thrudgelmer and grandson of 

Berling. a dwarf. 

Bestla. Wife of Bure and mother of Odin. 
BiFLiDE, A name of Odin. 
BiFLiNDE. A name of Odin. 
BiFROST. The rainbow. 
BiFUR. A dwarf. 
BiKKE. A minister of Jormunrek; causes Randver to be hanged, 

and Svanhild trodden to death by horses. 
BiL. One of the children that accompany Moon. 
BiLEYG. A name of Odin. 
BiLSKiRNER. Thor's abode. 
Blain. a dwarf. 
Blodughofde. Frey's horse. 

BoDN. One of the three jars in which the poetic mead is kept. 
BODVAR Bjarke. One of Rolf Krake's berserks. 
BoL. One of the rivers flowing out of Hvergelmer. 
Bolthorn. a giant; father of Bestla, mother of Odin. 
BoLVERK. A name of Odin. 
BoMBUR. A dwarf. 
BoR. Son of Bure; father of Odin. 
Brage. a son of Odin; the best of skalds. 
Breidablik. The abode of Balder. 
Brimer. One of the heavenly halls after Ragnarok. 
Bribing. ;^eyja's necklace. 
Brok. a dwarf. 

Brynhild. One of the chief heroines in the Niblung story. 
Budle. Father of Atle and Brynhild. 
Bue. a son of Vesete, who settled in Borgundarholm. 


BuRE. Grandfather of Odin. 
Byleist. a brother of Loke. 
Byrger. a well from which Bil and Hjuke were going when they 

were taken by Moon. 
Dain. a dwarf. 

Dain. One of the stags that bite the leaves of Ygdrasil. 
Datnsleif. Hogne's sword. 
Day. Son of Delling. 
Daybreak. The father of Day. 
Delling. Daybreak. 
DoLGTHVARE. A dwarf. 
DoRE. A dwarf. 
Draupner. Odin's ring. 

Drome. One of the fetters with which the Fenris-wolf was chained. 
DuF. A dwarf. 

DuNEY. One of the stags that bite the leaves of Ygdrasil. 
DuRATHRO. One of the stags that bite the leaves of Ygdrasil. 
DuRiN. A dwarf. 

DvALiN. One of the stags that bite the leaves of Ygdrasil. 
DvALiN. A dwarf. 
EiKiNSKjALDE. A dwarf. 

EiKTHYRNER. A hart that stands over Odin's hall. 
EiLiF. Son of Gudrun; a skald. 
EiMYRjA, One of the daughters of Haloge and Glod. 
EiNDRiDE. A name of Thor. 
EiR. An attendant of Menglod, and the best of all in the healing 

Ekin. One of the rivers flowing from Hvergelmer. 
Elder. A servant of -^ger. 
Eldhrimner. The kettle in which the boar Sahrimner is cooked in 

Elivogs. The ice-cold streams that flow out of Niflheim. 
Eljudner. Hel's hall. 
Elle. An old woman (old age) with whom Thor wrestled in Jotun- 

Embla. The first woman created by Odin, Honer and Loder. 
Endil. The name of a giant. 

Erp. a son of Jonaker, murdered by Sorle and Hamder. 
Eylime. The father of Hjordis, mother of Volsung. 
Eysa. One of the daughters of Haloge and Glod. 
Pafner. Son of Hreidmar, killed by Sigurd. 


Fal. a dwarf. 

Falhopner. One of the horses of the gods. 

Farbaute. The father of Loke. 

Farmagod. One of the names of Odin. 

Farmatyr. One of the names of Odin. 

Fenja. a female slave who ground at Frode's mill. 

Fenris-wolp. The monster wolf, son of Loke. 

Fensaler. The abode of Frigg. 

Fid. a dwarf. 

File. A dwarf. 

FiMAPENG. jEger's servant. 

FiMBUL. One of the streams flowing from Hvergelmer. 

FiMBULTHUL. One of the streams flowing from Hvergelmer, 

FiMBUL-TYR. The unknown god. 

FiMBUL- WINTER. The great and awful winter of three years' 

duration preceding Ragnarok. 
FiNNSLEiP. A byrnie belonging to King Adils, of Upsala. 
FjALAR. A dwarf. 
Fjolner. a name of Odin. 
Fjolsvid. a name of Odin. 
Fjorgvin. The mother of Frigg and of Thor. 
FjoRM. One of the streams flowing from Hvergelmer. 
FoLKVANG. Freyja's abode. 

Form. One of the streams flowing from Hvergelmer. 
FoRNJOT. The ancient giant; the father of iEger. 
Forsete. The peace-maker; son of Balder and Nanna. 
Frananger Force. The waterfall into which Loke cast himself 

in the likeness of a salmon. 
Freke. One of Odin's wolves. 
Frey. Son of Njord and husband of Skade. 
Freyja. The daughter of Njord and sister of Frey. 
Fridleip. a son of Skjold. 
Frigg. Wife of Odin and mother of the gods. 
Frode. Grandson of Skjold. 
Froste. a dwarf. 
FuLLA. Frigg's attendant. 
FuNDiN. A dwarf. 
Fyre. a river in Sweden. 
Gagnrad. a name of Odin. 
Galar. a dwarf. 
Gandolp. a dwarf. 


Gang. A giant. 

Ganglare. a name of Odin. 

Ganglate. Hel's man-servant. 

Ganglere. a name of Odin. 

Ganglot. Hel's maid-servant. 

Gangrad. a name of Odin. 

Gardropa. a horse. 

Garm. a dog that barks at Ragnarok. 

Gaut. a name of Odin. 

Gefjun. a goddess; she is present at iEger's feast. 

Gefn. One of the names of Freyja. 

Geirahod. a valkyrie. 

Geirrod. a giant visited by Thor. 

Geir Skogul. a valkyrie. 

Geirvimul. One of the streams flowing from Hvergelmer. 

Gelgja. The fetter with which the Fenris-wolf was chained. 

Gerd. a beautiful giantess, daughter of Gymer. 

Gere. One of Odin's wolves. 

Gersame. One of the daughters of Freyja. 

GiLLiNG. Father of Suttung, who possessed the poetic mead. 

GiMLE. The abode of the righteous after Ragnarok. 

GiNNAR. A dwarf. 

GiNUNGAGAP. The premundane abyss. 

GiPUL. One of the streams flowing from Hvergelmer. 

GiSL. One of the horses of the gods. 

Gjallar-bridge. The bridge across the river Gjol, near Helheim. 

Gjallar-horn. Heimdal's horn. 

Gjallar-river. The river near Helheim. 

Gjalp. One of the daughters of Geirrod. 

Gjuke. a king in Germany, visited by Sigurd. 

Gladsheim. Odin's dwelling. 

Glam. The name of a giant. 

Glapsvid. a name of Odin. 

Glaser. a grove in A^gard. 

Gleipner. The last fetter with which the wolf Fenrer was bound. 

Glener. The husband of Sol (sun). 

Gler. One of the horses of the gods. 

Glitner. Forsete's hall. 

Gloin. a dwarf. 

Gna. Frigg's messenger. 

Gnipa-cave. The cave before which the dog Garm barks. 


Gnita-heath. Fafner's abode, where he kept the treasure of the 

GoiN. A serpent under Ygdrasil. 
GoL. A valkyrie. 

GoLDPAX. The giant Hrungner's horse. 
GoMUL. One of the streams flowing from Hvergelmer. 
GoNDLER. One of the names of Odin. 
GoNDUL. A valkyrie. 

GopuL. One of the streams flowing from Hvergelmer. 
Got. a name of Odin. 
GoTE. Gunnar's horse. 

GoTHORM. A son of Gjuke; murders Sigurd, and is slain by him. 
Grabak. One of the serpents under Ygdrasil. 
Grad. One of the streams flowing from Hvergelmer. 
Grafvitner. a serpent under Ygdrasil. 
Grapvollud. a serpent under Ygdrasil. 
Gram. Sigurd's sword. 
Grane. Sigurd's horse. 
Greip. One of the daughters of Geirrod. 
Grid. A giantess visited by Thor. 
Grid AR VOL. Grid's staff. 
Grim. A name of Odin. 
Grimhild. Gjuke 's queen. 
Grimner. One of the names of Odin. 

Grjottungard. The place where Thor fought with Hrungner. 
Groa. a giantess, mother of Orvandel. 
Grotte. The name of King Frode's mill. 
GuD. A valkyrie. 

GuDNY. One of the children of Gjuke. 
GuDRUN. The famous daughter of Gjuke. 
GuLLiNBURSTE. The name of Frey's boar. 
GuLLiNTANNE. A name of Heimdal. 
GuLLTOP. Heimdal's horse. 

GuLLVEiG. A personification of gold; she is pierced and burnt. 
GuNGNER. Odin's spear. 
GuNLAD. The daughter of the giant Suttung. 
GuNN. A valkyrie. 
GuNNAR. The famous son of Gjuke. 
GuNTHRAiN. One of the rivers flowing from Hvergelmer. 
GwODAN. An old name for Odin. 


Gylfe. a king of Svithjod, who visited Asgard under the name of 

Gyller. Ore of the horses of the gods. 
Gymer. Another name of the ocean divinity -^ger. 
Habrok. A celebrated hero. 
Hallinskide. Another name of Heimdal. 
Haloge. a giant, son of Fornjot; also called Loge. 
Hamder. Son of Jonaker and Gudrun, incited by his mother to 

avenge his sister's death. 
Hamskerper. a horse; the sire of Hofvarpner, which was Gna's 

Hangagod. a name of Odin. 
Hang AT YR. A name of Odin. 
Haptagod. a name of Odin. 
Har. The High One; applied to Odin. 
Harbard. a name assumed by Odin. 
Hate. The wolf bounding before the sun, and will at last catch 

the moon. 
Heide. Another name for Gullveig. 
Heidrun. a goat that stands over Valhal. 
Heimdal. The god of the rainbow. 
Heimer. Brynhild's foster-father. 
Hel. The goddess of death; daughter of Loke. 
Helblinde. a name of Odin. 
Helmet-bearer. A name of Odin. 

Hengekjapt. The man to whom King Frode gave his mill. 
Hepte. a dwarf. 
Heran. a name of Odin. 
Herfather. a name of Odin. 
Herjan. a name of Odin. 

Hermod. The god who rode on Sleipner to Hel, to get Balder back, 
Herteit. a name of Odin. 
HiLD. A valkyrie. 

HiLDESViN. A helmet, which King Adils took from King Ale. 
HiMiNBJORG. Heimdal's dwelling. 
HiNDFELL. The place where Brynhild sat in her hall, surrounded 

by the Vafurloge. 
HjALMBORE. A name of Odin. 

Hjalprek. a king in Denmark; collects a fleet for Sigurd. 
Hjatle the Valiant. One of Rolf Krake's berserks. 
HjORDis. Married to Sigmund, and mother of Sigurd. 


Hjuke. One of the children that accompany Moon. 

Hledjolf. a dwarf. 

Hler. Another name of ^ger. 

Hlidskjalf. The seat of Odin, whence he looked out over all the 

Hlin. One of the attendants of Frigg; Frigg herself is sometimes 

called by this name. 
Hlodyn. Thor's mother. 
Hlok. a valkyrie. 
Hloride. a name of Thor. 
Hnikar. a name of Odin. 
Hnikud. a name of Odin. 

Hnitbjorg. The place where Suttung hid the poetic mead. 
Hnos. Freyja's daughter. 
HoDER. The slayer of Balder; he is blind. 
Hodmimer's-holt. The grove where the two human beings, Lif 

and Lifthraser, were preserved during Ragnarok. 
HoPVARPNER. Gna's horse. 
Hoqne. a son of Gjuke. 
HoNER. One of the three creating gods; with Odin and Loder he 

creates Ask and Embla. 
HoR. A dwarf. 
Horn. A name of Freyja. 

Hrasvelg. a giant in an eagle's plumage, who produces the wind. 
Hreidmar. The father of Regin and Fafner. 
Hrid. One of the streams flowing from Hvergelmer. 
Hrimfaxe. The horse of Night. 

Hringhorn. The ship upon which Raider's body was burned. 
Hrist. a valkyrie. 

Hrodvitner. a wolf; father of the wolf Hate. 
Hron. One of the streams flowing from Hvergelmer. 
Hroptatyr. a name of Odin. 
Hrotte. Fafner's sword. 
Hrungner. a giant; Thor slew him. 
Hrym. a giant, who steers the ship Naglfar at Ragnarok. 
Hvergelmer. The fountain in the middle of Niflheim. 
Huge. A person (Thought) who ran a race with Thjalfe, in Jotun- 

Hugin. One of Odin's ravens. 
Hugstore. a dwarf. 


Hymer. a giant with whom Thor went fishing when he caught 
the Midgard-serpent. 

Hyndla. a vala visited by Freyja. 

HyRroken. a giantess who launched the ship on which Balder 
was burned. 

Ida. a plain where the gods first assemble, and where they as- 
semble again after Ragnarok. 

Idavold. The same. 

Ide. a giant, son of Olvalde. 

Idun. Wife of Brage; she kept the rejuvenating apples. 

Ironwood. The abode of giantesses called Jarnveds. 

IvA. A river in Jotunheim. 

IvALD. The father of the dwarfs that made Sif 's hair, the ship 
Skidbladner, and Odin's spear Gungner. 

Jafnhar. a name of Odin. 

Jalg. a name of Odin. 

Jalk. a name of Odin. 

Jarnsaxa. One of Heimdal's nine giant mothers. 

Jarnved. The same as Ironwood. 

Jarnvidjis. The giantesses dwelling in Ironwood. 

JoRD. Wife of Odin, mother of Thor. 

JoRMUNDGAND. The Midgard-serpent. 

JoRMUNREK. King of Goths, marries Svanhild. 

JoRUVOLD. The country where Aurvang is situated. Thence come 
several dwarfs. 

Jotunheim. The home of the giants. 

Kerlaugs. The rivers that Thor every day must cross. 

Kile. A dwarf. 

Kjaler. a name of Odin. 

KoRMT. A river which Thor every day must cross. 

KvASER. The hostage given by the vans to the asas; his blood, 
when slain, was the poetical meed kept by Suttung. 

Lading. One of the fetters with which the Fenris-wolf was bound. 

Landvide. Vidar's abode. 

Laufey. Loke's mother. 

Leipt. One of the rivers flowing out of Hvergelmer. 

Lerad. a tree near Valhal. 

Letpet. One of the horses of the gods. 

LiF. )The two persons preserved in Hodmimer's-holt 

LiFTHRASER. ) during Ragnarok. 

Lit. a dwarf. 


Ljosalpaheim. The home of the light elves. 

LoDER. One of the three gods who created Ask and Embla. 

LoFN. One of the asynjes. 

LoGE. A giant who tried his strength at eating with Loke in Jotun- 

Loke. The giant-god of the Norse mythology. 
LoPT. Another name for Loke. 
LovAR. A dwarf. 

Lyngve. The island where the Fenris-wolf was chained. 
Magne. a son of Thor. 
Mannheim. The home of man; our earth. 
Mardol. One of the names of Freyja. 
Megingjarder. Thor's belt. 
Meile. a son of Odin. 
Menglad. Svipdag's betrothed. 
Menja. a female slave who ground at Frode's mill. 
MiDGARD. The name of the earth in the mythology. 
Midvitne. a giant. 

MiMER. The name of the wise giant; keeper of the holy well 
Mist. A valkyrie. 
Mjodvitner. a dwarf. 
Mjolner. Thor's hammer. 
MjOTUD. A name of Odin. 
Mode. One of Thor's sons. 

MoDGUD. The may who guards the Gjallar-bridge. 
Modsogner. a dwarf. 
MoiN. A serpent under Ygdrasil. 

MoKKERKALPE. A clay giant in the myth of Thor and Hrungner. 
Moon, brother of Sun. Both children of Mundilfare. 
MooNGARM. A wolf of Loke's offspring; he devours the moon. 
Morn. A troll-woman. 
Mundilfare. Father of the sun and moon. 
Munin. One of Odin's ravens. 
Muspel. The name of an abode of fire. 
MusPELHEiM. The world of blazing light before the creation. 
Na. a dwarf. 
Naglfar. a mythical ship made of nail-parings; it appears in 

Nain. a dwarf. 
Nal. Mother of Loke. 
Nanna. Daughter of Nep; mother of Forsete, and wife of Balder. 


Nare. Son of Loke; also called Narfe. 

Narfe. See Nare. 

Nastrand. a place of punishment for the wicked after Ragnarok. 

Nep. Father of Nanna. 

NiBLUNGS. Identical with Gjukungs. 

NiDA Mountains. A place where there is, after Ragnarok, a golden 

hall for the race of Sindre (the dwarfs). 
NiDE, A dwarf. 

NiDHUG. A serpent in the nether world. 
NiPLHEiM. The world of mist before the creation. 
NiFLUNGS. Identical with Niblungs. 
Night. Daughter of Norfe. 
NiKAR. A name of Odin. 
NiKUZ. A name of Odin. 
NiPiNG. A dwarf. 

Njord. A van; husband of Skade, and father of Frey and Freyja. 
NoATUN. Njord's dwelling. 

NoN. One of the streams flowing from Hvergelmer. 
Nor. The man after whom Norway was supposed to have been 

NoRDRE. A dwarf. 
Norfe. A giant, father of Night. 
NoRNS. The weird sisters. 

Not. One of the streams flowing from Hvergelmer. 
Ny. a dwarf. 
Nye. a dwarf. 
Nyrad. a dwarf. 
Oder. Freyja's husband. 

Odin. Son of Bor and Bestla; the chief of Teutonic gods. 
Odrarer. One of the vessels in which the poetic mead was kept. 
Ofner. a serpent under Ygdrasil. 
OiN. A dwarf. 
Oku-Thor. a name of Thor. 

Olvalde. a giant; 'father of Thjasse, Ide and Gang. 
Ome. a name of Odin. 
Onar. a dwarf. 

Orboda. Wife of the giant Gymer. 
Ore. a dwarf. 

Ormt. One of the rivers that Thor has to cross. 
Orner. The name of a giant. 


Orvandel. The husband of Groa, the vala who sang magic songs 

over Thor after he had fought with Hrungner. 
OsKE. A name of Odin. 
Otter. A son of Hreidmar; in the form of an otter lie was killed 

by Loke. 
QuASER. See Kvaser. 
Radgrid. a valkjTie. 
Radsvid. a dwarf. 
Rafnagud. a name of Odin. 
Ragnarok. The last day; the dissolution of the gods and the 

world; the twilight of the gods. 
Ran. The goddess of the sea; wife of Mger. 
Randgrid. a Valkyrie. 
Randver. a son of Jormunrek. 
Ratatosk. a squirrel in Ygdrasil. 

Rate. An auger used by Odin in obtaining the poetic mead. 
Regin. Son of Hreidmar. 
Reginleip. a valkyrie. 
Reidartyr. a name of Odin. 
Rek. a dwarf. 
Rind. Mother of Vale. 
RoGNER. A name of Odin. 
RosKVA. Thor's maiden follower. 

Sahrimner. The boar on which the gods and heroes in Valhal live. 
Sad. a name of Odin. 
Saga. The goddess of history. 
Sager. The bucket carried by Bil and Hjuke. 
Sangetal. a name of Odin. 

Sekin. One of the streams flowing from Hvergelmer. 
Sessrymner. Freyja's palace. 
SiAR. A dwarf. 

Sid. a stream flowing from Hvergelmer. 
Sidhot. a name of Odin. 
Sidskeg. a name of Odin. 
Sip. Thor's wife. 
Sigpather. a name of Odin. 

Sigfrid. The hero in the Niblung story; the same as Sigurd. 
SiGMUND. Son of Volsung. Also son of Sigurd and Gudrun. 
SiNDRE. A dwarf. 
Sigtyr. a name of Odin. 
SiGYN. Loke's wife. 


Sigurd. The hero in the Niblung story; identical with Sigfrid. 

SiLVERTOP. One of the horses of the gods. 

SiMUL. The pole on which Bil aad Hjuke carried the bucket. 

SiNFJOTLE. Son of SigmUnd. 

SiNER. One of the horses of the gods. 

Sjopn. One of the asynjes. 

Skade. a giantess; daughter of Thjasse and wife of Njord. 

Skeggold. a Valkyrie. 

Skeidbrimer. One of the horses of the gods. 

Skidbladner. Frey's ship. 

Skifid. a dwarf. 

Skifir. a dwarf. 

Skilfing. a name of Odin. 

Skinpaxe. The horse of Day. 

Skirner. Frey's messenger. 

Skogul. a valkyrie. 

Skol. The wolf that pursues the sun. 

Skrymer. The name assumed by Utgard-Loke; a giant. 

Skuld. The norn of the future. 

Sleipner. Odin's eight-footed steed. 

Slid. One of the streams flowing from Hvergelmer. 

Slidrugtanne. Frey's boar. 

Snotra. One of the asynjes. 

SoKMiMER. A giant slain by Odin. 

SoKVABEK. A mansion, where Odin and Saga quaff from golden 

Sol. Daughter of Mundilfare. 
Son. One of the vessels containing the poetic mead. 
SoRLE. Son of Jonaker and Gudrun; avenges the death of Svanhild. 
SuDRE. A dwarf. 
Sun. Identical with Sol. 

SuRT. Guards Muspelheim. A fire-giant in Ragnarok. 
SuTTUNGo The giant possessing the poetic mead. 
SvADE. A giant. 

SvADiLPARE. A horse, the sire of Sleipner. 
SvAPNER. A serpent under Ygdrasil. 
Svanhild. Daughter of Sigurd and Gudrun. 
SvARiN. A dwarf. 

SvARTALPAHEiM. The homo of the swarthy elves. 
SvARTHOFDE. The auccstor of all enchanters. 
SvASUD. The name of a giant; father of summer. 

288 vocabVlary. 

SviAGRis. A ring demanded by the berserks for Rolf Krake. 

SviD. A name of Odin. 

SviDAR. A name of Odin. 

SviDR. A name of Odin. 

SviDRE. A name of Odin. 

SviDRiR. A name of Odin. 

SviDUR. A name of Odin. 

SviPDAG. The betrothed of Menglad. 

SviPOL. A name of Odin. 

SvoL. One of the streams flowing from Hvergelmer. 

SvOLNE. A name of Odin. 

Sylg. a stream flowing from Hvergelmer. 

Syn. a minor goddess. 

Syr. a name of Freyja. 

Tangnjost. ) t,, , . 

Tangrisner.[ Thors goats. 

Thek. a dwarf; also a name of Odin. 

Thjalfe. The name of Thor's man-servant. 

Thjasse. a giant; the father of Njord's wife, Skade. 

Thjodnuma. One of the streams flowing from Hvergelmer. 

Thok. Loke in the disguise of a woman. 

Thol. One of the streams flowing from Hvergelmer. 

Thor. Son of Odin and Fjorgyn. The god of thunder. 

Thorin. a dwarf. 

Thorn. A giant. 

Thride. a name of Odin. 

Thro. A dwarf; also a name of Odin. 

Throin. a dwarf. 

Thror. a name of Odin. 

Thrud. a valkyrie. 

Thud. A name of Odin. 

Thul. a stream flowing from Hvergelmer. 

Thund. a name of Odin. 

Thvite. a stone used in chaining the Fenris-wolf. 

Thyn. One of the streams flowing from Hvergelmer. 

Tyr. The one-armed god of war. 

Ud. a name of Odin. 

Ukko. The god of thunder in Tshudic mythology. 

Ukko-Thor. a name for Thor. 

Uller. Son of Sif and step-son of Thor. 

Urd. The norn of the past. 


XJtgarDo The abode of the giant Utgard-Loke. 
Utgard-Loke. a giant visited by Thor; identical with Skrymer. 
Vafthrudner. a giant visited by Odin. 
Vafud. a name of Odin. 

Vafurt^oge. The bickering flame surrounding Brynhild on Hind- 
Vak. a name of Odin. 
Valaskjalf. One of Odin's dwellings. 
Vale. Brother of Balder; kills Hoder. 
Valpather. a name of Odin. 

Valhal. The hall to which Odin invites those slain in battle. 
Vanadis, a name of Freyja. 
Vanaheim. The home of the vans. 
Var. The goddess of betrothals and marriages. 
Vartare. The thread with which the mouth of Loke was sewed 

Vasad. The grandfather of Winter. 
Ye. a brother of Odin. (Odin, Vile and Ve). 
Vedfolner. a hawk in Ygdrasil. 
Vegsvin. One of the streams flowing from Hvergelmer. 
Vegtam. a name of Odin. 
Veratyr. a name of Odin. 
Verdande. The norn of the present. 
Vestre. a dwarf. 

ViD. One of the streams flowing from Hvergelmer. 
ViDAR. Son of Odin and the giantess Grid. 
ViDBLAiN. The third heaven. 
ViDFiN. The father of Bil and Hjuke. 
ViDOLF. The ancestor of the valas. 
ViDRER. A name of Odin. 
ViDUR. A name of Odin. 
ViG. A dwarf. 
ViGRiD. The field of battle where the gods and the hosts of Surt 

meet in Ragnarok. 
Vile. Brother of Odin and Ve. 
ViLMEiDE. The ancestor of all wizards. 
ViMER. A river that Thor crosses. 
ViN. A river that flows from Hvergelmer. 
Vina. A river that flows from Hvergelmer. 
ViNDALF. A dwarf. 
ViNDLONG. One of the names of the father of winter. 


ViNDSVAL. One of the names of the father of winter. 

ViNGNER. A name of Thor. 

ViNGOLF. The palace of the asynjes. 

ViNGTHOR. A name of Thor. 

ViRFiR. A dwarf. 

YiT. A dwarf. 

VoLSUNGS. The descendants of Volsung. 

Von. a river formed by the saliva running from the mouth of the 

chained Fenris-wolf. 
VoR. One of the asynjes. 
WoDAN. A name of Odin. 
Ydaler. Tiller's dwelling. 
Yg. a name of Odin. 
Ygdrasil. The world-embracing ash-tree. 
Ylg. One of the streams flowing from Hvergelmer. 
Ymer. The huge giant out of whose body the world was created. 


Abel, 265. 

Academy (London), 253. 

Achilleus, 167, 168. 

Adam, 33. 

Adela, 255. 

Adils, 215, 217. 

Ae, 71. 

Mger, 153, 154, 159, 160, 162, 164, 

169, 176-189, 196, 240, 260. 
^neas, 168, 221-224, 229, 242. 
Africa and Africans, 36, 38, 225. 
Ainbet, 255. 
Ainos, 221. 
Aldafather, 246. 
Ale, 89, 168, 215. 
Alf, 71. 
Alfather, 65, 69, 72, 77, 80, 81, 92, 

94, 98, 106, 245, 246, 259. 
Alfheim, 77, 183. 
Alfrig, 261. 
Alsace, 255. 
Alsvid, 66. 
Althjof, 70. 
Alvis, 251. 
America, 30, 244. 
Amsvartner, 94. 
Anchises, 223, 229. 
Andhrimner, 104. 
Andlang, 78. 

Andvare, 71, 194, 195, 199-201. 
Andvarenaut, 200. 
Ang-erboda, 91. 
Anglo-Saxon, 258. 
Annan, 45. 
Annar, 65. 
Argulos, 41. 
Ariadne, 29. 
Ariel, 253. 
Ark, 33. 
Arndt, 257, 258. 
Arvak, 66. 
Asaheim, 226, 259. 

Asaland, 226, 234. 

Asas, 79-90. 

Asa-Thor, 241. 

Asburg, 226. 

Asgard, 6, 7, 51, 54, 64, 65, 69, 
133, 136, 148, 153, 156-158, 164, 
168-176, 181, 189, 191, 224, 226, 
228, 230, 237. 

Asia, 38, 43, 166, 225-229. 

Asiamen, 46, 48. 

Ask, 5, 64, 243, 250. 

Aslaug, 204. 

Asmund, 245, 246. 

Aspargum, 226. 

Asov, 225. 

Assor, 229. 

Asynjes, 97-100. 

Assyrians, 37, 40, 225. 

Atlas, 226. 

Atle, 198-202, 251. 

Atra, 45. 

Atrid, 81, 245. 

Aud, 65. 

Audhumbla, 59, 246. 

Audun, 235. 

Aurgelmer, 58, 250. 

Aurvang, 71. 

Austre, 61, 70. 

Austria, 255. 

Baal, 37. 

Babylon, 39. 

Bafur, 70. 

Balder, 6, 7, 8, 46, 83, 84, 89, 131- 

136, 148, 158, 175, 232, 249, 259. 

260, 264, 265. 
Baleyg, 81, 245, 247. 
Baltic, 223, 231. 
Banquo, 253. 
Bar, 61, 64, 250. 
Bar-Isle, 102. 
Bauge, 162, 163. 



Bavaria, 256. 

Bedvig, 45, 

Beigud. 215. 

Bel, 37. 

Beldegg, 46. 

Bele, 102, 103, 145, 175, 263. 

Beowulf, 262. 

Bergelmer, 60, 250. 

Bergmann, Fr., 18, 221. 

Berhng, 261. 

Bestla, 60, 250. 

Biflide, 54. 

Biflinde, 54, 81, 245. 

Bifrost, 68, 73, 74, 77, 88, 108, 142. 

Bifur, 70. 

Bikke, 202, 208. 

Bil, 66, 99, 250. 

Bileyg, 81, 245. 

Bilskirner, 82, 259. 

Bjaf, 45. 

Bjalfe, 233. 

Bjar, 45. 

Bjarnhedinn, 233. 

Black Sea, 225, 229. 

Blackwell, W. L., 15, 18. 

Blain, 70. 

Blind, Karl, 252-256. 

Blodughofde, 260. 

Blueland, 225, 226. 

Bodn, 160-165. 

Bodvar Bjarke, 215. 

Bol, 106. 

Bolthorn, 60, 250. 

Bolverk, 81, 162, 163, 245. 

Bombur, 70. 

Bor, 50, 61, 64, 250. 

Borgundarholm, 240. 

Bornholm, 240. 

Bothnia, 240. 

Brage, 6, 9, 16, 25, 50, 87, 108, 
153, 154, 159, 160, 164, 166, 169, 
184, 187, 189, 205, 231, 260. 

Brander, 46. 

Breidablik, 77, 84, 232, 259. 

Brimer, 147, 166. 

Brising, 97, 186, 261, 262. 

Britain, 230. 

Brok, 190-192. 

Brynhild, 198-201, 262, 267. 

Budd, 244. 

Buddha, 244. 

Budle, 198, 201. 
Bue, 240. 

Bugge, Soph us, 18. 
Bure, 5, 60, 250. 
Byleist, 91, 144. 
Byrger, 66. 


Ca3sar, 233. 

Cain, 265. 

Cariyle, Sir Thomas, 22, 252. 

Carthage, 31, 242. 

Cato, the Elder, 31. 

Caucasian, 226. 

Celtic, 239, 240, 244. 

Cerberos, 41, 

Chaldeans, 40. 

Chasgar, 226. 

China, 28. 

Chlotildis, 255. 

Christ, 201, 221, 223. 

Cicero, 229. 

Columbus, 30. 

Cottle, A. S., 15. 

Crete, 28, 39-42. 

Dain, 70, 75. 
Dainsleif, 219. 
Dane, 46. 
Danube, 230. 
Dardanos, 42. 
Dasent, G. W., 15. 16, 18. 
Day, 65, 66. 
Daybreak, 65. 
Delling, 65. 
Denmark, 50, 206, 207, 214, 222, 

Dido, 242. 
Dietrich, Fr., 18. 
Dippold, G. Theo., 267. 
Dolgthvare, 71. 
Don, 225, 229. 
Dore, 71. 

Dornrcischen, 254. "*• 

Draupner, 71, 134, 136, 187. 
Drome, 93. 
Duf, 71. 
Duney, 75. 
Durathro, 75. 
Durin, 70. 
Dvalin, 70, 74, 75, 261. 



Egilsson, S., 18, 19. 

Eikenskjalde, 71. 

Eikthyrner, 106. 

Eilif, 179. 

Eimyrja, 240. 

Eindride, 175. 

Eir, 97. 

Ekin, 106. 

Elder, 188. 

Eldhrimner, 104. 

Elenus, 168. 

Eline, 351. 

Elivogs, 5, 57, 59, 173, 248. 

Eljudner, 92. 

Elle, 124, 127. 

Embla, 5, 64, 243, 250. 

Emerson, R. W., 22. 

Endil, 180. 

Enea, 38, 221, 225. 

England, 30, 48, 222, 233, 339, 

350, 358. 
Erichthonios, 331. 
Erp, 303-205. 
Ethiopia, 225. 
EttmilUer, Ludw., 18. 
Europe, 38, 221-230, 241, 254. 
Eve, 33. 
Eylime, 196. 
Eysa, 340. 
Eyvind Skaldespiller, 336. 

Fafner, 193-301, 363. 
Fal, 71. 

Falhofner, 73, 360. 
Farbaute, 91, 185. 
Farmagod, 81, 347. 
Farmatyr, 81, 165, 345. 
Faye, A., 257. 
Fenja, 206-208, 267. 
Fenris-wolf, 8, 87,91-96, 104, 141, 

142, 148, 149, 168. 
Fensaler, 97, 133. 
Fid, 71. 
File, 71. 
Fimafeng, 188. 
Fimbul, 56. 
Fimbulthul, 106. 
Fimbul-tyr, 5, 6, 8. 

Fimbul-winter, 7, 140, 264. 

Finnish, 239, 240, 241, 250. 

Finnsleif, 215. 

Fjalar, 100, 161. 

Fjarlaf, 45. 

Fjolner, 54. 81, 207, 338, 245. 

Fjolsvid, 81, 245, 246. 

Fiorgvin, 65. 

Fjorm, 106. 

Folkvang, 86, 259. 

Forestier, Auber, 262, 263, 266, 

Form, 56, 341. 
Fornjot, 339-343. 
Forsete, 89, 90, 153, 359, 360. 
Frananger Force, 137. 
Frankland, 46. 
Eraser's Magazine, 353. 
Freke, 105. 
Freovit, 46. 
Frey, 6, 7, 8, 85, 86, 94, 101-103, 

109-113, 134, 143, 143, 153, 187, 

191, 193, 227, 228, 237-239, 243, 

360, 363, 364. 
Frevja, 6, 7, 29, 85, 86, 97, 110, 

134, 153, 157, 170, 183, 187, 228, 

232, 239,259,261,262. 
Fridleif, 45, 46, 206, 218. 
Frigialand, 168. 
Frigg, 6, 7, 43, 45, 65, 80, 94, 97, 

98, 131-136, 145, 153, 176, 187, 

Frigia, 43, 
Frigida, 45. 
Frjodiger, 46. 

Erode, 41, 206-213, 238, 267. 
Froste, 71, 240, 241. 
Fulla, 97. 136. 153, 187. 
Fundm, 71. 
Funen, 331. 
Fyre, 316. 
Fyrisvold, 187, 317. 

Gaelic, 357. 
Gagnrad, 347. 
Galar, 160, 161. 
Gandolf, 70. 
Gandvik, 179. 
Gang, 159. 
Ganglare, 81. 



Ganglate, 92. 

Ganglere, 245, 246, 247. 

Ganglot, 92. 

Gangrad, 58. 

Gardarike, 230. 

Gardie, de la, 17. 

Gardrofa, 99. 

Garm, 8, 108, 143. 

Gaut, 81. 

Gave, 46. 

Gefjun, 49, 50, 97, 153, 187, 231, 

Gefn, 97. 

Gegenwart, Die, 252. 
Geibel, Em., 267. 
Geir, 46. 
Geirabod, 99. 

Geirrod, 81, 176-183, 245, 246. 
Geir Skogul, 252. 
Geirvimul, 106. 
Gelgja, 96. 
Gelmer, 248. 
Gerd, 101-113, 153, 228, 238, 262, 

Gere, 105, 261. 
Germania (of Tacitus), 244. 
Germany, 30, 222, 230, 239, 250- 

Gersame, 238. 
Gertraud, 255. 
Gibraltar, 225, 230. 
Gill, 250. 
Gilling, 161. 

Gimle, 9, 54, 77, 78, 147, 247. 
Ginnar, 71. 
Ginungagap, 5, 56, 57, 58, 61, 72, 

243, 247-249. 
Gipul, 106. 
Gisl, 73, 260. 
Gissur, Jarl. 24. 
Gjallar-bridge, 185, 249. 
Gjallarhorn, 72, 88, 142. 
Gjallar-river, 135. 
Gjalp, 178, 179, 180, 182. 
Gjoll, 56, 96, 248. 
Gjuke, 199, 204, 206, 266. 
G'iukungs, 193-201. 
Glad, 73, 260. 
Gladsheim, 28, 69, 259. 
Glam, 183. 
Glapsvid, 81, 245. 

Glaser, 187, 199. 

Gleipner, 87, 94. 

Glener, 66. 

Gler, 78, 260. 

Glitner, 77, 89, 90, 259. 

Glod, 240. 

Gloin, 71. 

Glora, 44. 

Gna, 98, 99. 

Gnipa-cave, 8, 143. 

Gnita-heath, 196-200. 

God, 33^0, 54. 

Godheim, 225, 236. 

Goe, 241. 

Goin, 75. 

Gol, 99. 

Golden Age, 69-71. 

Goldfax, 169, 176. 

Gomul, 106. 

Gondler, 81, 245. 

Gondul, 252. 

Gopul, 106. 

Gor, 241. 

Got, 246. 

Gote, 199. 

Gothorm, 198-211. 

Gotland, 206. 

Goransson, J., 18. 

Grabak, 76. 

Grad, 106. 

Grafvitner, 75. 

Grafvollud, 76. 

Gram, 199, 200. 

Grane, 198. 

Grave, 199. 

Gray, 16. 

Greece and Greeks, 28, 31, 39-43, 

222-229, 250. 
Greenland, 30. 
Greip, 178-183. 
Grid, 177. 
Gridarvol, 177, 181. 
Grim, 81, 245, 246. 
Grimhild, 198. 

Grimm (Brothers), 244, 253, 258. 
Grimner, 81, 244, 245, 247, 248. 
Grjottungard, 171, 174. 
Groa, 173, 174. 
Grotte, 207, 210. 
Grottesong, 207, 208. 
Guatemala, 88, 244. 



Gud, 100. 

Gudny, 198. 

Gudolf, 45. 

Gudrun, 179-203. 

Gullinburste, 134. 

Gullintanne, 88. 

Gulltop, 73, 88, 134, 259. 

GuUveig, 252, 265. 

Gungner, 142, 189-192. 

Gunlad, 160-165. 

Gunn, 252. 

Gunnar, 198-203. 

Gunnthro, 56, 248. 

Gunthrain, 106. 

Gwodan, 244. 

Gylfe, 9, 16, 46, 49, 50, 51, 52, 151, 

321, 224, 231, 232, 242. 
Gyller, 73, 260. 
Gymer, 101, 103, 238. 


Ha, 218. 

Habrok, 108. 

Hafthor, 235. 

Hakon, 21-24, 236. 

Haleygjatal, 47. 

Halfdan, 213. 

Hallinskide, 88. 

Haloge, 240. 

Halogeland, 240. 

Ham, 35, 36. 

Hamder, 202, 206. 

Hamskerper, 99. 

Hangagod, 81. 

Hangatyr, 165. 

Haptagod, 81. 

Har, 71, 81, 243-246. 

Harald Harfager, 51, 243. 

Harbard, 245. 

Hate, 67. 

Haustlong, 184. 

Hebrew, 37. 

Hedin, 218, 219. 

Hedinians, 219. 

Heide, 252. 

Heidrun, 106. 

Heimdal, 6, 8, 88, 89, 134, 142, 

143, 153, 233, 259, 260. 
Heimer, 204. 
Heimskringla, 10, 23, 50, 57, 221, 

334, 339, 343, 343, 363. 

Hekate, 355. 

Hektor, 43, 151, 167, 168. 

Hel, 6, 7, 55, 56, 57, 91-96, 133, 

135-137, 142, 144, 148, 248, 255, 

Helblinde, 81, 91, 245. 
Held, 255. 

Helge Hundings-Bane, 348. 
Helgeland, 240. 
Helmet-bearer, 345. 
Henderson, 16. 
Hendride, 44. 
Hengekjapt, 207. 
Hengist, 46, 339. 
Hepte, 71. 
Herakles, 41. 
Heran, 54. 
Herbert, 16. 
Herfather, 347. 
Herfjoter, 99. 
Herikon, 43, 331. 
Herjan, 54, 81, 345, 347. 
Hermanric, 362. 
Hermod, 45, 133, 135, 136, 349, 

Hero-book, 350. 
Herodotos, 32. 
Herteit, 81, 245. 
Hesse (Rhenish), 255. 
Hild, 99, 198, 218, 219, 252. 
Hildebrand, Karl, 18. 
Hildesvin, 215. 

Himminbjorg, 77, 88, 89, 232, 359. 
Hindfell, 199. 
Hjaddingavig, 319. 
Hjalmbore, 81. 
Hjalprek, 196. 
Hjalte the Valiant, 315. 
Hjarrande, 218. 
Hjordis, 196. 
Hjuke, 66, 250. 
Hledjolf, 71. 
Hleidre, 212, 314. 
Hler, 153, 240, 243. 
Hlidskjalf, 64, 77, 101, 137. 
Hlin, 98, 145. 
Hlodyn, 145. 
Hlok, 99. 
Hloride, 44. 
Hlymdaler, 204. 
Hnikar, 54, 81, 245, 247 



Hnikud, 54, 81, 245. 

Hnitbjorg, 161, 163. 

Hnos, 97, 238. 

Hoder, 7, 89, 133, 148, 260, 265. 

Hodmimer's-holt, 149, 

Hofvarpner, 99. 

Hogne, 198-218. 

Holge, 187. 

Holzmann, A., 18. 

Homer, 333. 

Honer, 84, 153, 155, 157, 184-186, 

193, 237, 343. 
Hor, 71. 
Horn, 97. 
Hornklofe, 283. 
Horsa, 229. 
Howitts, the, 16. 
Hrasvelg, 79. 
Hreidmar, 193-196. 
Hrid, 56. 
Hrimfaxe, 65. 
Hrimgerd, 351. 
Hringhorn, 133. 
Hrist, 99. 
Hrodvitner, 67. 
Hrolf, 341. 
Hron, 106. 
Hroptatyr, 81, 346. 
Hrotte, 196. 

Hrungner, 7, 169-176, 210. 
Hrym, 141-144. 
Hvergelmer, 56, 73, 75, 106, 148, 

243, 248, 249. 
Hvitserk, 215. 
Huge, 121, 126. 
Hugin, 105. 
Hugstare, 71. 
Humboldt, 244. 
Hymer, 128-133, 167, 186. 
Hyndla, 249. 
Hyrrokken, 133, 134. 

Iceland, 240. 

Ida, 148. 

Idavold, 69. 

Ide, 159. 

Idun, 6, 7, 10, 28, 87, 88, 153, 155, 

157, 184-187, 264. 
Iliad, 22, 221, 334. 
lies, 43. 

India, 28, 244. 
Irmina, 255. 
Iron wood, 57. 
Isefjord, 231. 
Italy, 42, 333. 
Ithaca, 333. 
Itrman, 45. 
Iva, 182. 
Ivalde, 112, 189. 

Jack, 247, 250. 

Jafnhar, 81, 343, 245, 246. 

Jalanger, 207. 

Jalg, 54. 

Jalk, 54, 81, 245-247. 

Jamieson, 16. 

Japhet, 35. 

Jarnsaxa, 173. 

Jarnved, 67. 

Jarnvidjes, 67, 

Jat, 45. 

Jerusalem, 225. 

Jews, 29. 

Johnstown, 232. 

Jokul, 240. 

Jonaker, 202, 206. 

Jonsson (Arngrim), 17. 

Jonsson (Th.), 18, 19. 

Jord, 65, 100, 174, 175. 

Jormungand, 91-96, 144. 

Jormunrek, 202-206. 

Joruvold, 71, 

Jotland, 240. 

Jotunheim, 49, 65, 69, 91, 110, 
111, 115, 133, 144, 157, 169, 
176, 185, 187. 231, 259. 

Juno, 40, 250. 

Jupiter, 41, 42. 

Jutland, 46, 347. 

Kadmos, 341. 
Kalevala, 84. 
Kalmuks, 335. 
Kann, 354. 
Kare, 340-343. 
Kemble, 358. 
Kerlangs, 73. 

Keyser (Rud.), 18, 19, 20, 23, 25, 



Kesfet, 45. 

Kile, 71. 

Kiiigsley (Chas.), 230. 

Kjalar, 81, 245. 

Knue, 211. 

Kormt, 73. 

Kvaser, 137, 160-165, 227. 

Laage, 231. 

Lading-, 93. 

Laing (Samuel), 22, 224. 

Land vide, 259. 

Laomedon, 43. 

Latin, 222. 

Laufey, 91, 110, 113, 137. 

Leidre (See Hleidre), 231. 

Leipt, 56, 248. 

Lerad, 106, 263. 

Letfet, 73, 260. 

Liber, 228. 

Libera, 228. 

Lif, 149. 

Lifthraser, 149. 

Lit, 71, 134. 

Lithraborg, 231. 

Ljosalfaheim, 259. 

Loder, 243. 

Lofn, 98. 

Loge, 120, 126, 240, 243. 

Logrinn, 49. 

Loke, 6-8, 80, 91-96, 109-145, 
151, 153, 155-158, 176-187. 188- 
199, 240, 260, 261, 264. 265. 

Lopt, 91, 186. 

Loptsson (Jon), 20. 

Lora, 44. 

Loricos, 44. 

Loride, 44. 

Lovar, 71. 

liybia, 230, 242. 

Lyngve, 94. 


Macbeth, 252-265. 

Macedonians, 39, 40, 42. 

Maelstrom, 208. 

Magi, 45. 

Magne, 45, 48, 149, 168, 173. 

Magnusson (Arne), 17, 18, 23. 

Malar, 49, 231,232. 

Mallet, 16, 230. 

Manilius, 229. 

Mannheim, 225, 236. 

Mardol, 97. 

Mars, 222. 

Mechtild, 255. 

Mediterranean Sea, 38. 

Megingjarder, 83, 106, 176, 180. 

Meile, 174. 

Menglad, 260, 262. 

Menja, 206-209, 267. 

Menon, 44. 

Metellus, 223. 

Mexican, 244. 

Midgard, 5, 62, 63, 67, 109, 128, 

145, 259. 
Midvitne, 245. 
Mimer, 10, 19, 72, 73, 142, 143, 

224, 227, 228, 234, 243. 
Mist 99 

Mith'ridates, 222, 229. 
Mjodvitner, 70. 
Mjoll, 241. 
Mjolner, 6-8, 64, 83, 111-130, 134, 

148, 149, 171, 176. 
Mjotud, 246. 
Mobius (Th.), 18. 
Mode, 45, 148, 149, 168. 
Modgud, 135. 249. 
Modsogner, 70. 
Moin, 75. 

Mokkerkalfe, 171, 173. 
Moldau, 228. 
Mongolians, 225. 
Moon, 66. 
Moongarm, 67. 
Morn, 185, 186. 
Morris (Wm.), 224, 266. 
Miiller (Max), 244. 
MtlUer (P. E.), 18, 20. 
Mummius, 223. 
Munch (P. A.), 18. 
Mundilfare, 66. 
Munin, 105. 
Munon, 44. 

Muspel, 68, 103, 112, 142, 141. 
Muspelheim, 5, 56, 58, 61, 66. 

243, 247, 249, 259. 
Muss, 254. 
Mysing, 207. 




Na, 70. 

Nai?lfar, 65, 112, 141, 144. 

Nain, 70. 

Nal, 91. 

Nanna, 81, 134, 136, 153. 

Nare, 91, 139. 

Narfe, 65. 91, 139. 

Nastrand, 9, 147. 

Nep, 89, 134. 

Neptune, 41. 

Niblun^s. 101, 193, 199, 201, 202, 

262, 263, 266. 
Niblung Story, 30, 266, 267. 
Nida Mountains, 147. 
Nide, 70. 

Nidhug, 9. 72, 75, 148, 249. 
Niflheim, 5, 56, 58, 72, 92, 243, 

247, 249, 259. 
Niflhel, 55, 111, 259. 
Niflungs, 193-199, 201, 202, 266. 
Night, 65. 
Nikar, 54. 
Nikuz, 54. 
Nile, 41. 
Niping, 70. 
Njord, 6, 42, 84, 85, 101, 153, 158, 

159, 187, 227, 228, 232, 236, 237, 

239, 259, 260. 
Njorvasnud, 225. 
Njorve, 225. 
Noah, 33, 35. 225. 
Noatun, 84, 85, 158, 232, 237, 259. 
Non, 106. 
Nor, 241. 
Nordre, 61, 70. 
Norfe, 65. 
Norns, 73-78. 
Norway, 215, 218, 222, 230, 236, 

239, 240, 241, 251, 256, 257. 
Not, 106. 
Ny, 71. 
Nye, 70. 
Nyrad, 71. 
Nyerup (R.), 18. 

Oder, 97, 112, 228, 238. 

Odin, 5-10, 29, 39, 43, 45-47, 60, 
65, 73, 77, 80, 83, 86, 89, 96, 
100, 104r-112, 132-134, 137, 142, 

143, 145, 153, 155, 157, 158, 160- 
165, 168-176, 181, 185, 186, 187, 
189-192, 194, 195, 206, 221, 239, 
240, 243-263. 

Odinse, 230, 231, 250. 

Odinstown, 232. 

Odoacer, 223. 

Odrarer, 160-165. 

Odyssey, 22, 224. 

Ofner, 76, 245, 247. 

Oin, 70. 

Oku-Thor, 82, 151, 167, 168, 209. 

Olafsson (Magnus), 17. 

Olafsson (Stephan), 17. 

Olaf (Thordsson), 9, 20, 22, 23-27. 

Olaf (Tryggvason), 261. 

Olvalde, 159. 

Ome, 54, 81, 245. 

Onar, 70. 

Orboda, 101. 

Ore, 70, 71. 

Orestes, 223. 

Orkneys, 218. 

Ormt, 73. 

Omer, 210. 

Orvandel, 173-175. 

Oske, 54, 81, 245, 247. 

Otter, 193. 

Ottilia, 255. 

Paulus (Diakonos), 244. 

Persia, 225. 

Petersen (N. M.), 248. 

Pfeiffer (Fr.), 18. 

Pigott, 16. 

Pluto, 49. 

Poetry (origin of), 161-165. 

Polar Sea, 248. 

Pompey, 43, 222, 229, 230. 

Pontus, 229. 

Priamos, 39, 43, 44, 166, 167. 

Pyrrhus, 168. 


Quaser (see Kvaser). 
Quenland, 240. 

Rachel, 255. 
Radgrid, 99. 
Redsvid, 71. 



Rafn, 215. 
Rafnagud, 105. 
Ragnar, 206. 
Ragnar (Lodbrok), 205. 
Ragnarok, 8, 88, 96, 104, 139-145, 
167, 219, 228, 247, 249, 264, 266. 
Ran, 188. 
Randgrid, 99. 
Randver, 22-205. 
Rask (Rasmus), 18. 
Ratatosk, 75. 
Rate, 163. 
Refil, 196. 
Regin, 193-200. 
Reginleif, 99. 
Reidartyr, 165. 
Reidgotaland, 46. 
Rek, 71. 

Remus, 222, 223. 
Resen (P. J.), 17. 
Rhine, 201, 230. 
Rind, 89, 100. 
Ritta, 46. 
Roddros, 167. 
Rolf Krake, 214-217. 
Rogner, 246. 
Rome, 31, 43, 221-230. 
Romulus, 222, 223. 
Romulus (Augustulus), 223. 
Roskva, 114, 115. 
Rosta, 100. 
Rugman (Jon), 17. 
Russia, 225, 230. 

Sad, 81, 245. 
Saga, 97, 259. 
Sager, 66. 
Sahrimner, 104. 
Saming, 47, 230, 236. 
Samund the Wise, 20, 26. 
Sangetal, 81, 245, 247. 
Saracens, 225. 
Sarmatia, 225. 
Saturn, 38, 40, 41, 42. 
Saxland, 45, 48, 230, 231. 
Saxo-Grammaticus, 239. 
Saxons, 215, 229. 
Schlegel, 253. 
Scotland, 257, 258. 
Scott (Walter), 257, 258. 

Scythia (Magna), 225, 229, 244. 

Seeland, 49, 50, 231, 242. 

Sekin, 106. 

Sennar, 36. 

Serkland, 225. 

Sessrymner, 86. 

Shakspeare, 252-256. 

Shem, 36. 

Siar, 71. 

Sibyl, 44. 

Sid, 106. 

Sidhot, 81, 245, 247. 

Sidskeg, 81, 245, 247. 

Sif, 44, 89, 170, 187, 189-193. 

Sigar, 46. 

Sigfather, 81, 245, 247. 

Sigfrid, 19, 232, 263. 

Sigge, 46. 

Sighan, 257. 

Sighvat, 20. 

Sigmund, 196-204. 

Sigtuna, 47, 230, 232. 

Sigtyr, 165, 189, 247. 

Sigurd, 196-204, 262, 267. 

Sigyn, 139, 153, 185. 

Silvertop, 73, 260. 

Simrock (K.), 18, 19, 253. 263. 

Simul, 66. 

Sindre, 147, 190-192. 

Siner, 73, 260. 

Sinf jotle, 204. 

Sjafne, 98. 


Skade, 84, 85, 139, 158, 159, 185, 

187, 228, 236, 259. 
Skeggold, 99. 
Skeidbrimer, 73, 200. 
Skidbladner, 108-113, 189-193. 

234, 263. 
Skifid, 71. 

Skilfing, 81, 246, 247. 
Skinfaxe, 66. 
Skirfir, 71. 

Skirner, 94, 101-103, 143, 263. 
Skjaldun, 45. 

Skjold, 45, 46, 206, 230, 231. 
Skogul, 99, 252. 
Skol, 67. 

Skrymer, 116-127. , 

Skuld, 74, 100, 243, 252, 256. 
Skule (Jarl), 21-24, 249. 



Sleeping Beauty, 254. 

Sleipner, 73, 108-112, 133, 169- 

176, 259. 
Slid, 56, 248. 
Slidrugtanne, 134. 
Sna, 241. 
Snorre, 9, 19-27, 221, 226, 233, 

239, 242, 243. 
Snotra, 98. 
Sokmimer, 245. 
Sokvabek, 97, 259. 
Sol, 99. 
SolvarpT, 67. 
Son, 164, 165. 
Sorle, 202-206 
Spain, 225. 
Steinthor, 235. 
Stephens (Geo.), 230. 
Strabo, 226. 

Sturle (Thordsson), 21, 249. 
Styx, 248. 
Sudre, 61, 70. 
Sun, 66. 

Surt, 8, 57, 78, 142-149, 168, 249. 
Suttung, 164, 165. 
Svade, 241. 
Svadilfare, 110, HI. 
Svafner, 76, 243, 246, 247. 
Svanhild, 199-206. 
Svarin, 71, 259. 
Svartalfaheim, 94. 
Svarthofde, 58, 250. 
Svasud, 80. 
Sveinsson (Br.), 17. 
Sviagris, 215, 217. 
Svid, 246. 
Svidar, 54. 
Svidr, 236. 
Svidrer, 54, 245. 
Svidrir, 81. 
Svidur, 245. 
Svipdag, 46, 215, 262. 
Svipol, 81, 245. 
Svithjod, 46, 49, 181, 207, 211, 

225, 228, 236. 
Svebdegg, 46. 
Svol, 56, 106, 248. 
Svolne, 174. 
Sylg, 56, 248. 
Syn, 98. 
Syr, 97. 

Tacitus, 244. 

Tanais, 225. 

Tanaquisl, 225, 226. 

Tangnjost, 83. 

Tangrisner, 83. 

Tartareans, 225. 

Taylor (W.), 16. 

Testament (New), 28. 

Testament (Old), 28. 

Teutons, 222-224, 229, 230, 239, 

244, 253, 263, 264. 
Thek, 71, 81, 245. 
Thjalfe, 114, 115, 120, 121, 126, 

171, 173, 181. 
Th.iasse, 84, 85, 155-158, 184-187, 

Thjode, 196. 
Thjodnuma, 106. 
Thjodolf. 51, 174, 184, 243. 
Thok, 136, 137, 264. 
Thol, 106. 
Thor, 6, 8, 29, 41, 44, 65, 73, 83, 

83, 89, 100, 109-153, 165-192, 

205-243, 251, 259, 260, 263. 
Thorarin, 235. 
Thord, 20. 
Thorer, 235. 
Thorin, 70. 

Thorleif, 176, 184, 187. 
Thorn, 179. 

Thorodd (Runemaster), 27. 
Thorpe (Benjamin), 15, 252, 257, 

259, 262. 
Thorre, 241. 

Thorstein (Viking's son), 241. 
Thrace, 44, 221. 
Thride, 81, 243-246. 
Thro, 71, 81. 
Throin, 71. 
Thror, 245. 
Thrud, 99. 
Thruda, 183. 
Thrudgelmer, 250. 
Thrudheim, 44, 259. 
Thrudvang, 82, 127, 173, 232, 259. 
Thryra, 7. 

Thrymheira, 84, 85, 156, 259. 
Thucydides, 22. 
Thud, 81. 245. 
Thul, 56. 



Thule, 30. 
Thund, 81, 246. 
Thvite, 96. 
Thyn, 106. 
Tiber, 221. 
Tieck, 250. 
Tivisco, 244. 
Tom Thumb, 251. 
Torfason (T.), 17. 
Tror, 44. 
Tros, 43. 

Troy, 38, 43, 44, 47, 64, 151. 166, 
' 167, 168, 222-224, 229. 

Tshudic, 240. 

Turkey, 38, 45, 47, 151, 166. 
Turkistan, 228, 229. 
Turkland, 229. 

Tyr, 6, 8, 29, 87, 92, 95, 143, 153, 
165, 187, 244, 260. 


Ud, 81, 245. 

Uhland (Ludw.), 18, 263. 

Ukko, 82, 84, 239. 

Ukko-Thor, 239. 

Ulfhedinn, 233. 

Uller, 89, 153, 174, 183, 259, 260. 

Ulysses, 151, 223. 

Umea, 250. 

Upsala, 47, 215, 216, 232, 237. 

Ural Mountains, 229. 

Urd, 10, 19, 73, 74, 76, 243, 252- 

Utgard, 118-127. 
Utgard-Loke, 119-130. 

Vafthrudner, 58, 243, 244. 

Vafud, 81, 246. 

Vafurloge, 199, 200. 

Vag, 214, 215. 

Vainamoinen, 84. 

Vak, 81, 246. 

Valaskjalf, 77, 80, 259. 

Valdemar (King), 23, 27. 

Vale, 71, 89, 100, 139, 148, 153, 

Valfather, 73, 243. 
Valhal, 6, 7, 28, 51, 81, 99, 104- 

109, 132, 170-176, 188, 235, 243, 

Vanadis, 97. 

Vanaheim, 226, 227, 259. 

Vanaland, 226-228. 

Vanaquisl, 225-226. 

Var, 98. 

Vartare, 192. 

Vasad, 80. 

Ve, 60, 227, 230, 243, 249. 

Vedas, 253. 

Vedfolner, 75. 

Veggdegg, 45. 

Vegsvin, 106. 

Vegtam, 247, 264. 

Venus, 42, 256. 

Veratyr, 81, 247. 

Verdande, 74, 243, 252, 256. 

Verer, 46. 

Vesete, 240. 

Vestfal, 46. 

Vestre, 61. 

Vid, 56, 106. 

Vidar, 8, 89, 143, 145, 148, 153, 

168, 177, 187, 259, 260. 
Vidblain, 78. 
Vidfin, 66. 
Vidolf, 58, 250. 
Vidrer, 54, 247; 
Vidsete, 215. 
Vidur, 81. 
Vifil, 240. 
Vifilsey, 240. 
Vig, 70. 
Vigfusson (G.), 9, 26, 75, 223, 248, 

Vigrid, 142, 146. 
Viking, 240. 

Vile, 60, 230, 243, 249, 277. 
Villenwood, 251. 
Vilmeide, 58, 250. 
Vimer, 177, 178. 
Vin, 106. 
Vina, 106. 
Vindalf, 70. 
Vindione, 80. 
Vindsval, 80. 
Vingener, 45, 149. 
Vingethor, 44, 
Vingolf, 54, 69, 81, 247. 
Vinland, 30. 
Virfir, 71. 
Virgil, 222, 223, 242. 



Vit, 71. 

Vitrgils, 46. 

Vodin, 45. 

Vog, 214, 215. 

Volsungs, 46, 196-205. 

Volsung saga, 224, 266. 

Volukrontes, 167. 

Von, 96. 

Vor, 98. 

Vot, 215. 

Votan, 244. 

Wafurloge, 263. 
Wainamoinen, 239. 
Wallachia, 228. 
Warburton, 253. 
Weird Sisters, 253-256. 
Welsh, 240. 
Wenern, 215. 
Wessebrun Prayer, 256. 
Wilbet, 255. 
Wilkin (E.), 18, 19, 20. 
Williamstown, 232. 

Witches, 253-256. 
Wodan, 244. 
Worbet, 255. 
Worm (Chr.), 17. 
Worm (Ole), 17. 

Ydaler, 259. 
Yg, 81, 246. 
Ygdrasil, 6, 8, 15, 29, 72, 73-78, 

108, 142. 143, 252, 263. 
Ylg, 56, 248. 
Ymer, 5, 24, 58-63, 70, 128, 179, 

240, 249, 250. 
Ynglinga saga, 50, 243. 
Ynglings, 47, 238. 
Yngve, 47, 230, 238. 
Yngve-Frey, 186. 
Yrsa, 213-216. 
Yvigg, 46. 

Zalmoxis, 244. 
Zeus, 244, 246. 
Zoroaster, 37, 40. 

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The Younger Edda 47087365 

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